Panini are pressed sandwiches served in Italy. A small appliance called a panini press is available in stores, but a heavy skillet placed on the sandwiches as they cook works just as well. You can even weigh down a lighter skillet with a brick wrapped in foil, a sack of flour, or canned goods.
16 (1/8-inch-thick) slices plum tomato (2 large tomatoes)
8 (1-ounce) slices rustic French bread loaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
12 fresh basil leaves
8 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
How to Make It
Divide tomato slices evenly among 4 bread slices; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese evenly over tomatoes. Arrange basil leaves evenly over cheese, and top with remaining 4 bread slices. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over top of each sandwich, and coat with cooking spray.
Place a grill pan or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Place sandwiches, oil sides down, in pan. Drizzle 1 teaspoon oil over top of each sandwich, and coat with cooking spray. Place a piece of foil over sandwiches in pan; place a heavy skillet on top of foil to press sandwiches. Cook 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn sandwiches over; replace foil and heavy skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.