Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Italian Farmhouse Recipes: Veggie Panini

One of my favorite summer sandwiches is simply tomato and mayo with hot Italian bread rubbed with a freshly picked garlic clove.  I only eat tomatoes in the summer grown by me and sandwiches in the summer - with veggies of all kinds.

My justification for eating a fat laden sandwich - I am farming - so I need the energy to work in the fields and sandwiches are easiest quick and can either be hot or cold! The Italian bread of choice is from a very old bakery in N.J. - Calandra's- they make really good textured crusty french loaves and sliced bread.  I don't know the recipe but they are consistent in quantity and quality for as long as they have been in existence.  They wholesale to stores and markets as well as retail bakery locations in Farifield, Caldwell, and Newark N.J.  I have to thank my cousin Tommy for stocking us every time he visits - the bread freezes really well - warmed in the oven (wrap in Aluminum foil to seal in the steam) and you will taste bread as if it was made fresh that day!  Go to one of the bakeries and they are churning out warm fresh made bread constantly...
this photo from cookingfoodie blog shows the layers - simply pesto, tomato, zucchini, and goat cheese.

Which brings me to another favorite sandwich - Veggie Panini with or without cheese - this has a layer of grilled or sauteed fresh picked garden zucchini sliced, farm picked heirloom tomatoes, garlic or pesto and/or freshly made goat cheese.  Here on the farm our options are endless but simplicity in a sandwich appeals to me - you can taste the fresh veggies or cheese or garlic or herbs or or peppers that may be picked on any given day.  Who needs cold cuts?  Veggie is the healthy option and in my opinion the much tastier option.
Just remember to start with some really good bread!

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