Classic Italian Panini with Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella
4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
1 (12-ounce) loaf French bread, cut in half horizontally
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese, divided
2 ounces very thin slices prosciutto
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. Spread 2 tablespoons mayonnaise over cut side of each bread half. Sprinkle basil and 1/2 cup cheese on bottom half of loaf. Top evenly with prosciutto, tomato slices, and remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with top half of loaf. Cut filled loaf crosswise into 4 equal pieces.
Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten sandwiches. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).
Made almost exactly as written but spread mayo and then tore the basil and used sliced fresh mozzarella. My daughter loved it and it was easy to make a vegetarian version. Served with Classic Minestrone from this site and it was an easy winter meal.
Excellent and easy sandwich. Definitely use fresh mozzarella, which is more moist and creamy than the pre-shredded kind. Skip the mayo and drizzle the bread with olive oil instead for a more authentic flavor.
I LOVE this recipe! It is super easy and you can use whatever you want! We followed the recipe exactly but added some red peppers and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and garlic. It was delicious! I think this would be a great summer meal, something you could make up quickly and its still light. Can't wait to make it again!
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