June 15, 2010

Summer Panini Sandwiches {Naptime Simple Tips}

What’s Going on Today: Returned from high school reunion yesterday, tired but happy. Re-group with fresh groceries, playgroup, pick-up new library books.
Naptime Goals: Monday Catch-Up: Mail, laundry, general house-cleaning, put away groceries.

Tonight’s Menu: Paninis, salad, seltzer (no more wine!)
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Kids don’t have much sympathy for Mom when she’s tired.

My high school reunion was a blast, though it did make me feel a little old. Some of the younger girls at reunion were born in the late 80’s and early 90’s and had just graduated from college – what?! When did we get so old? Despite feeling slightly out of date, my classmates and I had a blast. We even held our own staying out late at a local pub catching up, something I haven’t done in ages.

The day after I got home was a typical Catch-Up Monday. There were laundry piles, bills, emails and loads of other little things to attend to. I usually have a day like this every couple of weeks. I find that dedicating one entire day to running the household seems to be the most efficient way to do things. This way I can spend a lot of time doing fun activities like going to the beach, strawberry picking or visiting local museums.

Luckily, last week when my friend Nicole came to visit she’d followed the wonderful tradition of bringing us Bread, Salt and Wine. I couldn’t have been more grateful for her thoughtfulness. With the bread still in it’s bag I decided to forgo major Naptime Chef-ing that afternoon in order to concentrate on household stuff. In the evening I used the bread to make up some yummy pressed sandwiches for all of us. As you know, I swear by paninis as a great, healthy dinner in a pinch.

My friend Cecily shared with me a cool secret she’d come up with recently to make her sandwiches even more flavorful, marinating the tomatoes. By tossing them with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt the tomato flavor is enhanced and the extra oil gets soaked into the bread, giving everything a little more moisture and taste. I gave her technique a go with this sandwich and I think it works really well. We devoured these so quickly that I barely had time to take a picture. The good news is that after my Catch-Up Monday I was ready for the rest of the week. And, boy, I have some great Naptime Chef-ing planned!


Summer Panini Sandwiches with Balsamic Vinegar


Serves 2

2 flatbreads or 4 slices of country bread
4 slices of thinly cut prosciutto
6 pieces of thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
½ pint grape tomatoes, washed and patted dry
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. good quality olive oil
1 pinch Kosher Salt
6-8 fresh basil leaves


1. Cut grape tomatoes in half or into thirds. Place them in a bowl and toss with vinegar, olive oil and salt. Allow them to sit for at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour at room temperature.
2. Lay bread open on the counter. Place 2 pieces of prosciutto on one slice of bread. Layer on 3 slices of mozzarella, then 3-4 basil leaves. Top with half of the tomatoes.
3. Drizzle the remaining slice of bread with some of the balsamic/olive oil mixture at the bottom of the bowl. Close sandwich.
4. Sandwich can be toasted on panini press, in a skillet or eaten as is.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Sandwiches are a great dinner, especially in the summer. Try substituting roasted red peppers or eggplant for a new, flavorful, twist on this old favorite.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making this sandwich takes 10 minutes from start to finish.

Naptime Reviews

This is definitely a family friendly meal, my daughter eats pressed sandwiches like there is no tomorrow. Though she did pick out the basil leaves this time because she didn’t know what they were for…

More Naptime Recipes