Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Panini

red pepper panini

It’s been raining for a week now, and the thought of sloshing over to the market in driving rains (and the occasional hailstorm) hasn’t held much appeal. Even our exuberant puppy doesn’t want to head outside. Can’t we just hunker down and survive off tea and tinned soup?

A quick root around the pantry didn’t yield much in the soup department, but I did find half a loaf of pugliese from the previous night’s dinner, a jar of roasted red peppers and a six-year old cup of instant ramen. (I’ll admit I thought about heating up those noodles for a quick minute. Hungry is hungry.) A log of goat cheese was rescued from the brink of expiration in the fridge, the ramen tossed out, and the ideal rainy-day lunch was on: grilled cheese sandwiches. (I’ve found they taste even better if you yell “grilled cheeeese sand-wich-ehhzzzz!” in a victory holler before eating. It helps.)

Call them panini if you’re feeling Continental, but whatever their name, these crisp sandwiches are the antidote to an empty fridge, lousy weather and a deep-seated laziness about leaving the house. Tawny-brown and crunchy outside, warm and tangy with chèvre and smoky-sweet with bright peppers, they pack considerable flavor for minimal effort, the perfect rainy-day lunch.

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Panini
serves two

  • 8 oz jar roasted red peppers, water-packed
  • 3 oz herbed goat cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices of crusty country bread (pugliese, levain, etc.)

Drain and pat the peppers dry. Slice the bread and spread two pieces with goat cheese. Top with the goat cheese with the red bell peppers and replace the top to make a sandwich.

Lightly brush olive oil on the exterior sides of the sandwiches. Cook in a heated panini press or grill pan until crisped and browned, or use a large sauté pan warmed over medium-high heat: place the panini in the pan and cover with a length of aluminum foil. Place a heavy pot or pan on top of the foil to press the sandwiches, flipping halfway through. Cook to desired crispness, checking after about three minutes per side. Serve warm with a green salad.

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About scarpettakate

Scarpetta Dolcetto celebrates simple, seasonal, scratch home cookery.
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12 Responses to Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Panini

  1. delimilli says:

    That sandwich looks so delicious. Perfectly browned and crusted. Those roasted peppers look amazing! Will try this recipe one of these days. By the way, do you think I can use feta for the cheese?

  2. OMG!!!! I want some right now! The flavors of all those ingredients go together so magnificently. Kudos on an excellent meal 🙂

  3. kathdedon says:

    That sandwich looks perfect! I love it when I have ingredients in the pantry to create something so satisfying!

  4. Wow this panini looks delicious! Love the goat cheese and red pepper combo. Yum!

  5. Tiffany says:

    That is a fantastic photograph! It makes me want to run to the kitchen and make this sandwich NOW! And I might……

  6. That sandwich is so good. I pack my own red peppers and this is how we eat them sometimes…only difference is that I use feta instead of goat cheese. It’s delicious!

  7. Peggy says:

    This is definitely the kind of sandwich I’d want for a rainy day! Heck… a sunny day is deserving of this creation too! =)

  8. kitchenarian says:

    This is my kind of sandwich. Love it!

  9. tiffany says:

    I have eaten goat cheese in some form or another for the past three days! 😀 It’s so creamy and delicious!!!

  10. This is a perfect sandwich for me. I just love goat cheese. And to have it warm it red peppers – yum!

  11. Thanks for the notes, folks! The sun’s finally coming out today…

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