A few months ago I was watching one of Giada's shows on the Food Network and she made Croissant Panini. She created such a tempting variation, loaded with two of my favorite types of cheese, so I knew I had to give it a try. I quickly marked down the ingredients and threw it with my stack of recipes. Somehow, I forgot about it until now. Maybe it had something to do with the busyness of parenthood, I don't know, but it finally popped back into my mind the other day. So I quickly added the ingredients to my grocery list and we enjoyed it for our lunch yesterday. Some day I'm going to serve it as Giada did... cut into thirds and served on a beautiful bed of arugula as an appetizer.
If you do not have a panini press, you can also use a George Foreman grill or anything of the like. I use this panini press that we received as a wedding gift almost five years ago and love it! There are so many types of panini you can create, so it definitely gets its use.
The cheese used in this recipe is fairly expensive, however, the great thing about panini is that you can switch it up to fit your taste and budget. You can use different types of bread besides a croissant. I suggest using a thick, hearty Italian bread to make ham and cheese panini. Or, one of my favorites is picking up a fresh loaf of Tomato Basil bread at Panera and making a fancy grilled cheese sandwich! Nice way to imitate the popular grilled cheese and tomato soup duo! Kid-friendly at best!
Typically, when you make your panini, you will want to brush some olive oil on the outside of the bread before grilling. But, when using croissants, skip this step. The croissant is so perfectly buttery, it doesn't need any extra coating of oil. I think that's another reason I love this particular panini so much.
I'm always looking for new panini creations. I've even seen some dessert panini ideas! Maybe you're now toying with turning your favorite sandwich into a panini? How about peanut butter and jelly? I think we can even spruce that up in the panini press! Let me know what type of panini you've put together and I might just try it out myself!
grated Parmesan Reggiano
6 slices salami
Preheat panini press. Slice croissants in half, lengthwise. Divide Gouda between the two croissants, placing the cheese on both sides of the sandwich. Place 3 slices of salami on each croissant and top with arugula. Sprinkle with Parmesan Reggiano.
Close sandwiches and grill for 2-4 minutes, depending on your grill, or until the cheese is melted.
Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis