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Summer Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini with Balsamic Syrup

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 20 mins
Yield 4 servings
Serve with sweet potato chips or a simple green salad.


  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (8-ounce) piece Cuban bread, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • 5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 325
  • fat 13.4 g
  • satfat 5.5 g
  • monofat 5.5 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 13.6 g
  • carbohydrate 37.4 g
  • fiber 2.5 g
  • cholesterol 28 mg
  • iron 2.1 mg
  • sodium 726 mg
  • calcium 225 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 8 minutes).

  2. While vinegar reduces, brush cut side of top half of bread with oil. Top evenly with basil, cheese, and tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Brush cut side of bottom half of bread with reduced vinegar; place on top of sandwich. Invert sandwich.

  3. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add sandwich to pan. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwich, and gently press to flatten. Leave skillet on; cook 3 minutes on each side or until cheese melts and bread is toasted. Cut sandwich into 4 equal pieces.