prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach panini

 prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach panini

I don’t know about you, but I am so incredibly ready for spring.  Winter in Boston was brutal with 38 inches of snow in January alone.  The snow has finally (mostly) melted and they’re talking about temps in the 50s this weekend.  I’d like to say that I’ll be out enjoying the weather, but I’m not particularly mobile with my post-surgery knee.  I am bound and determined to make it outside for a least a little bit, even if it’s just to the back porch.

 prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach panini

If you ask me, the only upside to all the snow was working from home and having Joseph make me panini for lunch.  My office doesn’t have a whole lot of lunch options nearby, and besides, I’m generally happier saving my money to go out for a nice dinner  rather than buy a mediocre sandwich because I didn’t bring anything for lunch.

 prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach panini

But of course on the other hand, planning ahead to bring your lunch can be such a hassle and sometimes I’m scrambling at the last minute to figure out what I can take so I’m not starving all day.  There’s just two of us, so we try to portion food out the food we make for dinner to have leftovers for lunch the next day.  But sometimes we make stuff that really doesn’t work well as leftovers and when my alarm goes off, I suddenly remember I have nothing to take to lunch.

 prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach panini

While I think my father would be perfectly content eating PB&J for 70% of his meals for the rest of his life, I’m kind of picky when it comes to sandwiches.  I just get really bored with simple deli meat sandwiches and sandwich bread.  Actually, I kind of hate most sandwich breads — I just hate the spongy consistency — which is why we often make our own bread in the bread machine.  But oh how I love panini!  Perfectly grilled bread with some cheese and delicious fillings?  Yes, please!  In fact, I love panini so much that Joseph got me a panini maker a couple of years ago and now we can make them all the time!   I need to just get another one for the office so I don’t have to rely on a snow day to have one on a weekday….

 prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach panini

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Panini

Of course you don’t need a panini maker to make a panini (or technically, the singular is panino)!  Just grill it in a skillet and flip it, or use something like a Foreman grill.

The amounts here are approximate.  The beauty of panini is that they’re so versatile and you can throw whatever you want (to a degree) in there.  Special ingredients such as the truffle salt and the garlic oil are completely option, you can use the regular salt and regular olive oil.

Serves 2

4 slices bread
1/4 lb proscuitto
1/2 tomato, sliced
4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup fresh spinach
garlic infused olive oil*
balsamic vinegar
truffle salt, to taste**
pepper, to taste

*or regular olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
** or kosher salt

Layer half the prosciutto, tomato slices, mozzarella, and spinach on a piece of bread.  Drizzle with garlic olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Top with another piece of bread.  Lightly brush garlic olive oil on the exposed bread. Repeat with the other sandwich.

Place in panini press (or skillet, grill, etc.) and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes.  If using a skillet, flip halfway through to cook both sides.

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