Tomato & Mozzarella Panini

by Melissa on May 28, 2010




One of our favorite sandwiches at Panera Bread is their Tomato & Mozzarella panini, so tonight my husband decided that we should try and make our own version of that delectable sandwich. Off to Whole Foods we went – it was Paul’s first trip to a Whole Foods – can you believe that?!

It was so much fun wandering around the store though, I just love looking at all of the great food packaging design. We’re definitely heading back soon to eat dinner in the store and grab a gelato on the way out – I can’t wait!

Also, one additional exciting thing about tonight’s dinner – we got to go out to our garden and pick fresh basil and parsley! I am so looking forward to being able to pick fresh vegetables in a few months.




Ingredients for Tomato & Mozzarella Panini:

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
– 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
– 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
– 3 tablespoons chopped onion
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
– 1/3 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
– 1/4 cup red wine

Panini:
– Sliced tomatoes
– Sliced mozzarella cheese
– Bread of your choice

Ingredients for Classic Shallot Vinaigrette:
– 1/4 finely chopped shallot
– 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
– 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
– 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Let’s Cook!
1. Drain sun-dried tomatoes and place in a bowl and cover the tomatoes with warm water for 4 to 5 minutes.





2. In a food processor (or blender) combine sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic and onion; process until well blended (will still be somewhat chunky). Add balsamic vinegar, chopped tomatoes and red wine, and process till the mixture is fairly smooth.
3. Spread the sundried tomato pesto on one slice of bread, layer on the tomato and mozzerella, place the second slice of bread on top and place the sandwich in a sandwich press. Remove the sandwich when the press tells you to (via the light) or when the bread turns a nice golden color.
4. For the salad dressing, whisk together the shallot, Dijon mustard and red-wine vinegar. Add the olive oil slowly, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Then toss with lettuce.
5. Enjoy!







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