I live in a carbohydrate hostile house. My wife lost enough weight over the past few years to be at her ideal weight. And she did it by eating very small meals and by cutting way back on carbohydrates like bread and pasta. Being the author of a panini cookbook hasn’t made meal time easy in our house. I would like to have a sandwich or a panini for lunch every day but she’ll just eat a few slices of cold cuts and maybe a yogurt. Come on, that’s just not fair.
But on Sundays during the summer, things are different.
You see, that’s when my wife and I go to the farmer’s market and pick up a few items for lunch. Even though she’s anti-carb, we still pick up a semolina peasant round from the Amish bakery stand. If you’re not familiar with this bread let me tell you that it’s amazing. Crunchy crust, spongy inside, really the best bread you can get. Even a known carb-hater such as my wife can not turn down this delicious bread. And what I like best about the round shape of this loaf is that when you slice it, you can make a huge sandwich. And huge sandwich is my middle name.
The farmers market also has this great Italian stand where these cheese artisans make mozzarella all day long. We buy a big ball of fresh mozzarella and sometimes a few cannoli too but not lately. Oh yeah did I mention that she’s anti-dessert too.
Now don’t get me wrong, she’s doing things the right way. Her eating habits are why she’s thin and she doesn’t even have to jump through the hoops of my oppressive health plan from work. They test your BMI, Cholesterol & blood pressure via an annual blood test. I also have to weigh in and take my blood pressure every week. There are kiosks at work to make it easy to do. Spouses have the same requirements. But they called my wife and said, you don’t have to do that anymore. You’re BMI is perfect, your cholesterol is good and your blood pressure is normal. Me, not so much.
That’s awesome that she’s healthy but it doesn’t make it easy for me to try new recipes and write more cookbooks. So how does this relate to this tomato mozzarella panini? I’m getting to it now.
The Sunday farmer’s market is a treat for the whole family. And we’re Italian so it’s like a rite of passage to have a tomato mozzarella sandwich during the summer.
Whether or not we buy tomato at the farmer’s market has to do with what’s going on in my garden. Lately a woodchuck has been eating all of my tomatoes before they ripen so we needed to buy some. But if they’re from my garden or from a farmer’s garden, they don’t taste anything like a tomato from the supermarket. Those things are tasteless. Seriously, they taste like water with a hint of red flavor. Does the color red really even have a flavor? Well judging by these supermarket tomatoes, it does not.
Most of the time we’ll slice up the peasant loaf, tomatoes & mozzarella, chop some basil, drizzle with olive oil and generously season with salt & pepper. This is the sandwich of summer. But after a few weeks of this, I decided to add some heat to the mix. The easiest way to make a sandwich even better is turn it into a panini. And that’s exactly what I did.
Here’s the recipe for the panini, not that it’s very difficult. It’s all about the ingredients. Quality ingredients make quality sandwiches. And I will enjoy this quality sandwich every Sunday until the fall.
Tomato Mozzarella Panini
- Thick cut bread – semolina peasant loaf
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Garden fresh tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- chopped basil (optional)
Preheat panini press on medium hot setting
Add tomato slices
Add mozzarella slices
drizzle with olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Press in Panini maker for 3-5 minutes
Remove from Panini maker & enjoy!