My Best Panini Press Recipes of 2012

by on December 20, 2012

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Here we are, once again – the time of year when I usually share a year-end mini Panini Happy cookbook download, featuring my favorite recipes. Well, this year brought the exciting announcement of my first real cookbook, to be published in 2013. I have been waist-deep in recipe writing and photography for many, many months now – I can’t wait for you all to see it when it comes out!

So as I wrap up the “big book” this year’s “Best of” will come in the form of a blog post, but fear not – I’ve still got a special holiday download for you coming up next week. In the meantime, please enjoy My Best Panini Press Recipes of 2012:

* * *

1. Brie, Basil, Bacon and Blue Panini (4/16/12): Brie, basil, bacon and blue…it’s just a happy coincidence that all of these great ingredients start with “B”. They happen to combine into a pretty amazing grilled cheese sandwich. The tangy flavor of the blue cheese almost borders on sweet amidst the smoky bacon, fresh basil and creamy Brie. I couldn’t crunch my way through that baguette fast enough.

2. Avocado-Bacon Toasts (5/21/12): Who would ever guess that smashing a creamy, ripe avocado on grilled bread with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of salt could be so…well, actually when you start to visualize it in your mind it’s easy to imagine why avocado lovers fall for this treat.

3. Rajas Grilled Cheese Panini (4/19/12): Grilling rajas – strips of chiles and onions – is an easy job on the panini press. It takes just minutes to get them nicely charred. Pile them on a sandwich with pepper jack for a spicy grilled cheese or, to tone down the heat, opt for Monterey Jack.

4. Wild Mushroom Melt Panini (10/11/12): In my experience, there aren’t many foods that can’t be remarkably enhanced by sautéing them in olive oil and butter with garlic and shallots and finishing them with some balsamic vinegar. Mushrooms, it turns out, are no exception.

5. Grilled Cheese Panzanella Salad (7/15/12): It’s a fun twist on the classic Italian summer panzanella salad. In place of the traditional panzanella croutons I made mini grilled cheese croutons. You just toss them in with ripe tomatoes, red onions and basil in a light vinaigrette – a fresh and summery salad and sandwich all in one.

6. Grilled Brie with Honey and Toasted Pecans (11/29/12): Simply grill a 1/2 pound wheel of Brie right on the panini press until it’s melted and oozy, then serve it drizzled with honey and toasted pecans and grilled baguette slices. Keep these simple ingredients on hand and you’ll be ready the next time unexpected guests show up at the door.

7. Honey Walnut-Crusted Aged Cheddar Panini (6/18/12): I fell in love with Beecher’s Handmade Cheese when I visited Seattle this past spring. I was thrilled to find it sold in my local grocery store back at home. I grilled it into a pretty fabulous sandwich with a sweet and crunchy honey walnut butter crust.

8. Grilled Asparagus Tartines with Fresh Ricotta and Scallions (3/12/12): This was the most fresh-tasting little sandwich snack I’d had in a while. I made them in full sandwich size, but you could easily make a mini crostini version and serve them as green springtime appetizers.

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JulieD December 21, 2012 at 6:08 am

All great looking recipes, Kathy!! Congrats again on the book!!
JulieD´s last blog post ..Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Bread Pudding


2 Jeanette December 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

Congrats Kathy – such wonderful news! Always love seeing all your panini creations.
Jeanette´s last blog post ..Strawberry Whipped Cream Santas Recipe


3 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies December 26, 2012 at 10:35 am

I am so excited for your cookbook! That wild mushroom melt panini was so good–seeing it is making me crave it again…
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies´s last blog post ..A Change of Holiday Plans + A Cranberry Orange Spritzer Recipe


4 Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet December 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Awesome news Kathy!! Congrats on the book. Your best of is amazing! I am officially hungry. Happy (almost) New Year!!

Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet´s last blog post ..Homemade Hamburger Helper


5 Kristina December 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

yours is definitely a book I look forward to! and this year has definitely been a delicious one – everything here looks fantastic!
Kristina´s last blog post ..spabettie recipes – best of 2012


6 Susan December 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm

You have some great looking panini recipes there! Congrats on your book too! A great way to start 2013.
Susan´s last blog post ..The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen’s Top 10 Recipes of 2012


7 Wendy @ AMFT December 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

These look great! That asparagus panini looks amazing and has me drooling!
Wendy @ AMFT´s last blog post ..Top 10 AMFT Recipes of 2012


8 megan @ whatmegansmaking January 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I want to try all of them. Right now. 🙂 And congrats on the book – you deserve it!!
megan @ whatmegansmaking´s last blog post ..Tortellini with Spinach, Broccoli, and Brown Butter


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