Impromptu Panini

September 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

One night this weekend upon decided to stay in, I surveyed my fridge in hopes of piecing together a passable dinner with its contents. A zucchini and yellow squash from the greenmarket along with a bit of leftover pancetta and a rather absurd assortment of cheese (does having no fewer than SIX types of cheese in one’s fridge indicate a problem?) inspired me to offer up pasta as an option, but Rupert raised the bar and suggested I work them into a panini. A lover of all grilled/toasted/pressed breads and the proud owner of a new grill pan, I quickly accepted the challenge! The results were surprisingly delicious and reinforced my recent theory that pancetta makes everything taste better. While quantities were all estimated, here is the basic recipe concept:

Summer Squash and Pancetta Panini

4 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread
1/4 cup diced pancetta
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 zucchini, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 cup assorted grated cheeses (fontina, mozzerella and pecorino romano)
olive oil
coarse salt and freshly grated pepper

1. Saute pancetta over medium high heat until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside while leaving drippings in pan. Over medium-high heat, saute squash and zuchinni in pancetta drippings with a touch of olive oil if needed until slightly browned, soft and cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Sprinkle cheeses and pancetta on the bottom slices of bread and top with a liberal amount of squash and zucchini and the remaining slices of bread. (If I had any basil on hand, I would have added a few leaves of that as well). Drizzle both sides of bread lightly with olive oil. Grill the panini in a grill pan or panini press until cheese is melted (I prefer mine on the charred side, but feel free to adjust cooking time to your preferred grill mark degree). Cut in half and serve!

We also opened a bottle of 2007 Corazon rose from Corison Winery that we purchased on our drive through Napa this summer.  We only shipped 6 bottles back (and tucked a few more into our suitcases) from all of our wine country jaunt, and we loved this one particularly because we had never come across another Cabernet Sauvignon rose.  With fall almost officially upon us, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy this bottle.

It was the perfect meal for a relaxing night in!


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