Sicily...1925...no, no, just kidding - although did that remind you of Sophia from the Golden Girls? Picture this meal because I forgot to take a picture last night! I know...booo!!...but what can ya do when a panini looks so good that you can't wait to dig in to it? Ah well...the next time I make it, I promise to update the blog with a picture.
Kyle and I made the trip down to Long Island for Father's Day on Sunday (an adventure for another time) and made, what has become, my "must-take" trip to the Italian deli in the town where I grew up. For some reason, I haven't yet found a decent Italian deli nearby where I work or live in Connecticut so I take advantage when I visit my parents. We indulged in 2 1/2lbs of fresh mozzarella (that we'll use over 3 days), 1/4lb of prosciutto di Parma that cost $6.75 (yes, that's right $27 per pound!!), and 4 "He-Man"-size sausage links (spicy for Kyle and sweet for me) that we'll make into patties for burgers. All told, we walked out $35 lighter but looking foward to some "unfawgetable" meals. I finally found some Heirloom tomatoes at the grocery store last week so the fresh mozz will have a nice friend now.
So on the way home from work last night, I stopped in a little bakery/cafe/bookstore to pick up a loaf of our favorite ciabatta bread - roasted garlic ciabatta. Between the slices, I added 2 slices of fresh mozz (on the top and bottom of the panini components), sliced Heirloom tomatoes, 2 slices of prosciutto, a few leaves of fresh basil, sprinkled on some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (maybe 1/2 teaspoon of each) and carefully put them on my beloved panini maker for about 5-6 minutes.
And what came off the panini maker? Toasted goodness!!! Everything was well-warmed through (the cheese wasn't melted which worked out perfectly so there wasn't a big melted mozzarella mess) and the flavors of the basil and prosciutto exploded in my mouth. I didn't want the experience to end!! Sadly, because I'm trying to cut down on my calories, I didn't opt for a second...but Kyle did, this one with turkey pepperoni because we ate the last of the prosciutto.
And the moral of this story? I need to find a good Italian deli nearby so that we can have this sandwich more often - store-bought fresh mozzarella DOES NOT compare to real, Italian fresh mozz - no questions asked.