Unlike in Italy or Spain, in the United States paninis are often made with some sauce, such as mayonnaise, ranch, blue cheese, Thousand Islands or others. Prepared this way panini is more mellow, and often has a more complex taste. Personally, I like to use Spanish salsa verde, skhug, or my avocado or chipotle mayonnaise for making sandwiches – these sauces add more flavor, harmony and savory taste.
From our trips to California, I brought a great idea to add a very important ingredient to my family diet. I am talking about a wonderful avocado. Since then I’m adding this healthy and buttery fruit (avocado is a fruit) to many dishes: from salads, appetizers, and soups, to sauces, sandwiches, and sorbets.
Our family favorite is a tomato and avocado salad on arugula bed, simply drizzled with some lemon juice and best quality extra virgin olive oil.
This time I made a panini with avocado, using this fruit in place of mayonnaise. And this gave a remarkable result.
We really enjoyed two hot hearty sandwiches served with a glass of pinot grigio for me and good beer for my husband. They made a quite delicious dinner.
For a vegetarian version use avocado, onion and tomatoes, and, of course, arugula is never a superfluous.
Panini with Avocado
about 2 servings
- 4 slices of Italian white bread or chiabatta buns
- Ham slices (I have Canadian bacon), to cover a piece of bread
- Onion slices (preferably red, Spanish or sweet), to taste
- Tomato slices, to cover a piece of bread
- Arugula (about 1 cup per serving)
- Cheese slices (provolone, mozzarella, fresh mozzarella)
- Avocado (1 large avocado for 2-4 servings)
- 1 small clove garlic, minced or using a garlic press
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- Black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
Mash the avocado with a fork and mix with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
Slightly drizzle the bread slices with olive oil (optional).
Spread the avocado mixture on the oiled side of the bread.
Top the bread with the tomato slices, onion, ham, arugula and cheese. Cover with another piece of bread (the oiled side inside).
Grill the panini using a panini-press, indoor or outdoor grill, or grill-pan until the cheese starts to melt and golden grill marks appear on the bread.
Cook with pleasure!