Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tonight's dinner

I bought this massive pane di casa at Citarella's yesterday in East Hampton and we made a dent in it between last night and this morning, but there's still a lot left, enough to make panini for everyone. So I went down the street to Cavaniola's (89-B Division St., Sag Harbor, 631 725-0095) and bought some Italian fontina (I sleep well knowing that real fontina is just steps from my door) and a jar of Peppadew whole sweet peppers. Four portabello mushrooms from the IGA. A sprig of rosemary from a waterlogged pot on the patio. Garlic. Mayonaise. Yum.

Fontina and Mushroom Panini
Serves 4

You can make these with the Tom Cat baguettes from Cavaniola's instead of country bread if you'd like.

4 large portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise (light is okay)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices best-quality country hearth bread or four 6-inch lengths of store-bought baguette, split
6 ounces shredded Italian fontina cheese
1/2 cup drained Peppadew sweet peppers, thinly sliced

1. Heat a panini or sandwich press according to the manufacturer's instructions. Brush the mushrooms on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them on the press, pull the top down, and cook until softened and browned, 4 to 6 minutes (unless you have a giant-size panini press you'll have to do this in two batches). Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Cut each mushroom in half.
2. Combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture onto four of the bread slices or the bottom halves of the baguette pieces.
Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and the peppers. Top some mushroom pieces and the remaining bread.
3. Put the sandwiches on the press (again, you'll have to do this in two batches), pull the top down, and cook until they are browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes depending on how hot your machine is. Carefully remove form the press and serve immediately.


  1. Depsite only being awake a short time, I am ready for that panni. Looks great. I have to say, I didn't sleep well. I am still somewhat restless over your earlier blog entry about Sag Harbor kids going for the fake syrup over Vermont maple syrup. As for that blog entry, "Pure" Vermont Maple Syrup is redundant. You can simply say Vermont Maple Syrup.

  2. I will never make that maple syrup mistake again! Thank you for the correction! As for the children of Sag Harbor, what can I say? There was one kid at the tasting (out of 5) who chose the real syrup, and Jack offered him a job on the spot.