Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Panini

I heart cheese. That's not news. I heart paninis, too, and that's probably equally newsworthy. There's a panini blog I follow, Panini Happy. She has all sorts of amazing sandwiches on there that I'm dying to try. Ummm...grilled mac and cheese with pulled pork?! Yes, please!! I had seen her post about this Green Goddess Grilled Cheese on St. Patrick's Day and thought it sounded fantastic. I found myself needing to be somewhere near our Saturday's Farmer's Market recently and decided to stop in to get the fresh herbs I'd need to make this.

Panini Happy's Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Panini

1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 oil-packed anchovy, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest (about 1 lime)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into smaller cubes
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
8-12 slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Add garlic and anchovies to a mini-prep food processor and pulse for a few seconds until it’s really finely chopped, almost like a paste (if you don’t have a food processor, you can always just chop the ingredients really well with a knife on a cutting board).

Add in the lime zest, parsley, tarragon, cilantro, basil, shallot, mustard and cream cheese and pulse again until well blended. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and stir in the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

For each sandwich: Spread a generous amount of the cheese mixture onto one slice of bread. Close the sandwich with a second slice of bread. Brush a little olive oil on top. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes until the cheese is melted and oozy and the bread is toasted. Serve immediately and enjoy!


I'm lazy and didn't chop everything on my own...I tossed it all in my food processor to let it work for me. What's the point of having machines in my kitchen and me doing all the work they can do? Oh, but I didn't have any shallots. I don't know why my grocery store is so hit or miss with shallots. they aren't that uncommon an item are they? Oh what I'd give to have a store that carries everything nearby. I shouldn't complain...when we first moved to this area there was only one grocery store. Now I at least have choices. Anyway.

The cheese filling on this was FANTASTIC. Before it cooked it had a really garlicky bite to it, but that mellowed a lot while the cheesy goodness melted while the sandwich was on the panini press. My only complaint was my bread choice. I didn't buy sourdough bread for this because I figured we could just use the regular whole wheat bread we use on a regular basis. I was WRONG. Don't make my same mistake. This sandwich needs a sturdy bread, not lame-o Oroweat Double Fiber Whole Wheat bread. And be generous with the filling on said sturdy bread. It's worth it. Oh, and don't forget to put the leftover spread away and sitting on your kitchen counter all night because you'll be a sad cheese-lover in the morning when you come downstairs and discover your mistake. I'm just saying...learn from my mistake.

I'd totally make this again but only with a better kind of bread.

Sandwich filling:

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