Thursday, September 23, 2010

Double Panini Night: Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Panini AND Pizza Panini

This is another quick, simple, and fast dinner that went over BIG with the taste-tester (and by taste-tester, I mean my husband).  This is actually two recipes in one...a Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella panini and a Pizza panini.  Both are made on garlic bread, and both are delicious!  I like the Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella myself -- I love tomato and basil together.  But my husband loved the Pizza panini.  My Pizza panini were very simple, just pizza sauce and cheese.  But you could add pepperoni or roasted peppers or any of your favorite pizza toppings!  I used a small loaf of Italian bread here, and made tiny little sandwiches so we could sample both.  But you could go ahead and use a larger loaf of bread and just slice the sandwiches in half to mix and match.   I served these with a quick green salad, which balanced out the meal perfectly.
Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Panini AND Pizza Panini
serves 3-4
adapted from Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids

1 small loaf Italian bread, in 16slices, or 1 large loaf Italian bread, in 8 slices and then sliced in half
4 tsp canola or olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1-2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup pesto (store-bought or homemade, I won't tell)
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella (sliced), or 1 cup cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/4 cup pizza sauce, any kind
salt and pepper

1. Crush and peel the cloves of garlic by smashing with the side of a knife.  Place them in a very small bowl with the 4 tsp of oil.  Microwave on HIGH for 25 seconds, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
2. Using a pastry brush, brush the garlic oil on each slice of bread. 
3. Place the sliced bread, oil side down, on a large cutting board.  Begin assembling the sandwiches.
4. For the four Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella panini, begin by spreading 8 of the slices of bread with pesto (about 1 tsp on each slice).  Then, sprinkle four slices of bread with the diced plum tomatoes.  Cover with the sliced or shredded mozzarella.  Then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place another pesto-smothered slice of bread on top and close.
5. For the pizza panini, spread four of the remaining slices of bread with pizza sauce.  Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and close with the remaining bread.
6.  Use a panini press to press and toast for 5-8 minutes.  Alternately, you can use a non-stick skillet or grill pan.  Just use a second pan topped with a few cans to weight the sandwiches.


  1. Moan. Panini. I love warm sandwiches, especially smothered in cheese like these babies are!

  2. nice presentation...sure its very yummy and delicious...superb yaar...

    Tasty Appetite

  3. I love paninis. They are one of my favorite ways to use leftover ingredients!

  4. I love paninis - especially the basil, mozzarella, tomato version!

  5. Mmmm fresh and melty mozzarella.

  6. that's great that you use the kid's cookbook. at restaurants I sometimes wish I could order offer their menu!!

  7. ooh i love that you made these on garlic bread. such a great idea for a weeknight meal. yummm!

  8. They both sound great! Especially since they were made on garlic bread!! I love paninis :)


  9. Love panini! Both sound so good. I've made tomato, basil, mozz ones before, but never pizza. Something I must try soon!

  10. Love your blog! I just discovered it, and I can tell we have the same taste in food...and in clothes - I have that same tunic top you're wearing in the photo! :) I look forward to checking in here often.

  11. Aren't paninis the best? I love anything with bread and melted you know that these sandwiches are just perfect for me. My husband is always happy with them too.

  12. I swear that anything on a panini is instantly 100 times better! This looks great!

  13. I made some pizza paninis not long ago and loved them. these sound just as good!

  14. your panini sounds awesome:) it's my husband's fav too. thank you for sharing this..panini press is on my list of things to buy:)