This panini is a homage to my Chicago days. When I would have my French lessons, my teacher Julie and I would meet at this quaint little coffee shop called Caffè Rōm. We would order this wonderful creation of cheese filled bliss and it was my idea of a perfect afternoon. French and good food - can't get much better. Pair it with a cappuccino (Caffè Rōm happens to have one of the best I've tasted in the states) or a Pellegrino and you have the best lunch ever! I have been wanting to create a gluten free version of this panini for a while and I finally did! Mason, like me, loves Buffalo Mozzarella*. I knew he would gobble it up and now he requests it for lunch on a regular basis. He asks for it sans tomatoes but I'm working on that! I always like to have a small side salad with this panini as well with a quick homemade dressing. Never, I repeat never, buy salad dressing. It's so easy to make and less expensive. I keep mine in the fridge for up to a week. The recipe for that will be coming soon. Enjoy! And, if you have a favorite recipe you would like me to make gluten free, please email me or leave a comment. I love a challenge ;) firstname.lastname@example.org
1 - gluten free baguette or roll (I love Schär)
1-2 Roma tomatoes thinly sliced
4-6 slices Buffalo Mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 bunch basil (roughly 4 leaves but you can use more if desired)
Extra virgin olive oil
Good quality Balsamic vinegar (I've used a fig infused flavor but feel free to use anything that sounds good.)
Herbes de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper
-The last five ingredients are to taste.
-You'll need a panini press or a grill pan and something to press down on the top of the panini
-Slice the bread in half vertically and then the long way horizontally to your desired size
-Toast the bread in a toaster oven or regular oven to golden brown, about five minutes.
-Let the bread cool for a few minutes and drizzle each half generously with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
-Place the cheese on the bottom half of the bread and then the tomatoes (you can use as little or as much as you would like).
-Sprinkle with Herbes de Provence, kosher salt and pepper to taste.
-Next, layer the basil. Drizzle a small amount of balsamic on the basil and put on the top half of the bread.
-Making sure that the panini press or grill pan is hot, place on the press and grill for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is a medium brown. If you are using a grill pan have something heavy like another pan to press on top and you'll probably want to flip it once.
|Mason is enjoying The Napoli.|
|One of my favorite seasonings of all time.|
|I love my new balsamic vinegar - delicious!|
|I like my Balsamic to be extra syrupy.|
|The original Napoli from Caffé Rōm.|
*Fun fact - Buffalo Mozzarella or Mozzarella di Bufala is a mozzarella cheese made from the milk of the domestic water buffalo.