Contrary to what many people seem to think, panini are not only suited for main courses alone, and/or for lunch or dinner only, for that matter – they’re far more versatile than that. Grilled panini recipes can be served during breakfast, too, and may as a matter of fact can make for some lovely breakfasts. Moreover, if you’re feeling creative, you can even make sweet panini that can serve as dessert!
Here are some examples of some nicely creative “segment-busting” panini.
This is one of our favorite panini recipes, and we have to admit it’s partly because it does away with so many people’s preconceived notions of what panini can and can’t be. Here’s a sweet panini that can be served for breakfast or as a sweet ending to a meal. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Prepare two slices of French bread by making sure they are no more than an inch thick (you may also decide to trim the crusts if you wish). Get a sweet cream cheese of your choice; you may decide to use a sweet dessert cheese instead, such as mascarpone. Around 4 or 5 tablespoons should be enough. Mix this cheese with an equal amount of a sweet fruit preserve, like a marmalade or a jam. Spread the cheese in one of the slices of bread, and top with the other slice. Spread a little butter all around the outside of both slices of bread. Place in your hot grille, pressing down. Grill only until the bread is nicely browned. If you wish, you can add a little confectioners’ sugar to accentuate the taste.
Here’s another “dare to be different” sort of panini, one that’s styled after another Italian favorite – pizza! Heat your grille to medium heat, and spray it with a nonstick cooking spray. Select and heat some of your favorite pizza sauce. Any sort of pizza sauce will do, from a tomato-based one to a cream-based one, to even a simple olive-oil based sauce. While you’re waiting for the sauce to heat, grate some mozzarella cheese. When the sauce is hot, select bread – any sort will do, but we recommend Italian bread – half it, and then spoon the sauce gently into the bread. Don’t put too much or it will overflow. Then heap your grated cheese gently onto the sauce, and finish up by closing each panini with the spare bread slices. Grill these panini until the cheese melts and the bread is golden-brown.
The bottom line is that one’s imagination is the only limitation regarding panini. So give your imagination free reign and whip up something inventive today! You never know – it could be the culinary creation of the decade… at least in your own house, or among your own friends…
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