There are days when you just feel like celebrating.
When you look at the world around you and smile because you know that things are going to be all right. That dreams really can come true.
Nothing cutesy or over the top here today – just one of the most comforting, happy-inducing grilled sandwiches I know how to make. Because I’m feeling really good today. On this inspirational, historic day for our country.
As an American, I’m proud and hopeful.
As the great-granddaughter of a slave, I’m beyond words.
Bacon, Cheddar & Grilled Tomato Panini
4 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise, pulp and seeds removed
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 slices sourdough bread
8 slices bacon, fully cooked*
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
NOTE: The grilled tomatoes portion of this recipe is adapted from the Grilled Tomatoes recipe on Simply Recipes, modified for the panini grill. If you prefer to grill the tomatoes on a barbecue grill, I recommend following the original recipe.
Preheat the panini grill to high heat. Ensure the grill is on a slight tilt (not completely flat) and be sure to attach your drip tray.
Brush the cut side of the tomatoes with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, onto the panini grill. Lower the top grate to just above the tomatoes without touching them. Grill tomatoes for 10-12 minutes until the outer skins are wrinkly and the tomatoes are soft. Check the tomatoes often, as some may cook faster than others. Remove the tomatoes from the grill and sprinkle with basil.
Brush melted butter onto the outer sides of each slice of bread. For each sandwich, layer two slices of bacon, two grilled tomatoes and 1/4 of the cheese in between two slices of bread (buttered side out). Grill the panini for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Serve immediately and enjoy!
* I cook mine on a broiler tray in the toaster oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.