When my current roommate was preparing to move into my apartment last year, she was a little worried about bringing over all the kitchen equipment she'd acquired over the years. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic about all the new toys I'd get to play with. Especially when she included the words "panini grill" in her e-mail about everything she was hoping to squeeze into our kitchen.
I envisioned myself making paninis for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Savory ones with eggs and bacon and lots of ooey gooey cheese, hearty ones with pulled pork or roast beef, and sweet ones with nutella and bananas and caramelized walnuts. Yet despite my best intentions to press myself into sandwich oblivion, I didn't actually use my roommate's panini grill until this past weekend. I let it sit idly by as I grilled my sandwiches like most people do -- in a frying pan. My panini aspirations (like my aspirations to be a famous movie star and/or figure skater) had fallen to the wayside and were not awakened until last week when opportunity, inspiration and intention all came together.
It started with a GChat conversation with my friend Ashley last Monday. She'd visited our mutual friend Caroline in Philadelphia over the weekend, and was dying to tell my about her trip. Or, more accurately, the sandwich she ate on that trip...
"I have to tell you about the BEST SANDWICH ever I had it at brunch in philly this weekend -- a grilled prosciutto, mozz, arugula and fig jam sandwich. UGH - SO GOOD!!!!!" She wrote.
I quickly responded, "Oh my gosh - I want to make that! Maybe I'll try recreating it this weekend. I love figs! And proscuitto and mozzarella!"
And with those words, I finally committed myself to my roommate's panini grill.
The sandwich was just as good as I envisioned in my head. The saltiness of the prosciutto juxtaposed against the sweet fig jam felt as right as peanut butter and chocolate, and the peppery arugula added another dimension to the toasty sandwich. I know that it won't be too long before I'm plugging in the panini grill for another round of this winning combination.
Or maybe another winning combination.... I hear the Peanut Butter & Co has an eatery in New York that serves up a bacon, banana , honey, and peanut butter concoction...
Proscuitto, Mozzarella, Arugula, and Fig Jam Panini
Inspired by the sandwich at Marathon on the Square in Philadelphia
1 Ciabatta roll (courtesy of the Whole Foods bakery)
1 heaping tablespoon Fig Jam (also acquired at Whole Foods)
2 ounces Prosciutto (I used Applegate Farms)
1 ounce mozzarella cheese, grated
Handful of Arugula
Slice ciabatta roll in half with a serrated knife. Spread Arugula over bottom half of roll and top with proscuitto. Spread jam over proscuitto, then cover with grated cheese and the other half of the roll. Grill until cheesy is melted and bread is nicely toasted.