This is a recipe given to me by my Aunt Linda. She is a phenom with Italian food. She came to town over the summer and made her famous spaghetti and meatballs for the family and I was in heaven. I actually posted a pic on Twitter and Instagram of my plate (the first one...no one needed to know about the second one, right?) Every year since as far back as I can remember, she would come in from Florida, where she and my Uncle Tracey live with their kids, and she would spend a whole day of her vacation constructing meatballs and simmering them in her marinara for all of us to enjoy (some vacation huh?) Yum, Yum, Yum....Okay I'm done reminiscing. When she sent me this recipe there was obviously no surprise that it was an Italian inspired dish. I am so excited to share it with you guys and I hope that when you take your first bite and close your eyes to take in all of the yummy (because I know you will) that you'll say a little thank you to my Aunt Linda for bringing it to all of us...I know I do.
8 slices Italian bread 3/4 inch thick (I used pre-sliced Tuscan bread from Target)
8 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 large plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
On four slices of bread, layer cheese and tomatoes; sprinkle with basil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Top with remaining bread. In a small bowl, combine the oil, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder; brush over the outside of each sandwich. On a panini press or griddle, cook sandwiches over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.
The ingredients included fresh basil and tomatoes, both of which are from my own garden.
How amazing do these tomatoes look?!
The sandwiches ready to hit the panini grill...
It's hard to simply watch it and not keep opening the grill!
Look at that ooey gooey melty goodness!