Every time I visit a Farmer’s Market the tomato vendors are the first to catch my eye. Heirloom breeds form a nutritional rainbow. Cherry and grape varieties are bite size fruits bursting with the flavor of the season.
I have always loved tomatoes - as a child I ate them like apples, to the disgust of my fruit snack- consuming peers.
The miniature varieties are some of my favorites - especially for roasting. When a tomato is roasted, all of the hidden sugars come to the surface, while the acidity drifts away.
I made a sandwich. I made a sandwich in which roasted grape tomatoes take place aside grilled chicken, fresh basil and gouda. The wonderment gets pressed between two slices of sourdough, making the perfect summer panini.
I love panini sandwiches. But, I do not own a panini press, for several reasons. First, they are usually too big to store conveniently, and as much as I like pressed sandwiches, I do not make them regularly enough to make the purchase worthwhile.
But, who’s to say we need a fancy press to make a perfectly authentic panini? With the help of an extra skillet and a heavy brick you are on your way to sandwich town.
This is a melty-gouda-roasted-tomato kind of mess, and it’s a wonderful one.
Roasted Tomato Panini
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 lb gouda (cut into 1/4 inch thick slices)
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Toss the tomatoes in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes evenly on a sheet pan and roast for 25-30 minutes.
Bring skillet up to medium-high heat.
Butter outer-sides of bread. Spread 1/2 tablespoon mayonniase on one side and arrange tomatoes, basil and chicken. Top with gouda and cover with the second slice of bread.
Move the sandwich to the heated skillet. Butter the underside of the second skillet and place on top of the sandwich. Place the brick in the center of the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.