Grilled Tomato-Basil Panini with Fresh Ricotta
One of the thing that made its way back from Seattle with me is a lovely loaf of Yukon Gold Potato bread from the Three Girls Bakery at Pike Place Market (post about that trip coming up). The bread was delicious with just unsalted butter but I wanted to grill it so I made this tomato-basil panini with fresh ricotta in a grill pan on top of the stove and served it with a little salad and a bowl of wonderful pasta and bean soup for dinner. If you have a panini maker you can grill the panini in it. I just made it in a grill pan with the cast iron “press” that you place right on top of the panini to press it down. I served the panini with a little salad on the side tossed with a simple vinaigrette. Together with the soup it made a nice, substantial but not too heavy dinner.
4 slices good quality country bread
A handful fresh basil leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced thick
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
Salt and pepper
You need to brush some olive oil on each side of the bread slices. Either drizzle it on or pour some oil into a flat plate and press the bread onto the oil gently, turning once.
Lay a few basil leaves on two of the slices, then some cheese and then sliced tomatoes and more basil on top.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Cover each one with remaining bread slices to create a panini.
Place in a preheated panini gril or in a ridged grill pan. If grilling in a grill pan place the heavy cast iron press on top to allow the bread to compress.
Cook until one side has the grill marks and is nice and brown. Using a patula turn the panini over once and cook again until nice and golden and crisp.
Remove and serve immediately with a crisp salad and a lovely homemade soup.