Last week (yeah, sorry I got side tracked with writing about other more important things…like giveaways), I bought the most wonderfully crusty of rosemary loaves ready to buckle down and make some deliciousness in the form of paninis. Now I love a good panini – but I worry about them becoming so bastardized and Americanized that they lose all essence of “Italy” about them.

Between us Americans adding bacon, extra cheese, mayo and any number of other fattening and entirely “un-Italian” ingredients we can think of to add to them (and ipso facto – to our waistline), these previously semi-healthy sammies can become gut bombs seeped in goo.

Now trust me – whew – I am not not not sayin’ these paninis we made are the healthiest you can find, but they had a ton of flavor, vegg, a little cheese and plenty of oomph. We could all use a little more “oomph” in our lives. Don’t you think?

Look at this – isn’t it beautiful?! 

And these babies – won’t they be amazing all caramelized and squishy on top? I’m dyin’ here.

Here is Ben’s baby. A little cheese, a lot of tomatoes, onions, chicken and plenty of pesto. He’s not a goat cheese kinda guy – hence, the colby jack.

After it got grilled up a bit in the lovely well seasoned cast iron he got me for our anniversary, it turned out scrumptious.

Here’s my baby. Sun-dried tomato pesto, sauteed onions, chevere goat cheese, grilled chicken and tomato (sorry I got over zealous with the pictures and skipped that part).  

Let me tell you it was heaven on a plate. You really can’t go wrong with a 30 minute dinner and endless possibilities.