Party Panini

December 15, 2014

Holiday parties are so much fun, especially when everyone brings a dish to pass and shares a little taste from home.  As much as I love to spend time in the kitchen cooking, during the holidays I need dish ideas that are delicious, quick, and easy. Today I’m sharing a tasty Tomato and Basil Panini on Focaccia bread with pesto, pepperoni, and whole milk mozzarella.

Here’s what you’ll need…

Large loaf of Focaccia bread. The one I used was approimatley 12inx6in (you can find one at your local bakery)

3-4 medium tomatoes
Handful of large basil leafs
Brick of whole milk mozzarella sliced into thin medallions
½ lb large deli pepperoni
Pinch of sea salt
4 tbs. Pesto (you can fine pre made pesto in a jar at your local market or grocery store)

Step 1: Slice your bread in half

Step 2: Lightly coat each half of bread with about 1 tbs. of pesto
Step 3: Top one half of the bread with pepperoni.

Step 4: Add a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes on your pepperoni. Lightly salt the tomatoes. You can also add some red pepper flakes for heat if you would like. It's important to keep layering in this order, so the tomatoes do not make your bread soggy!
Step 5: Add a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Step 6: Add basil leafs. I LOVE the taste of basil so I’m pretty generous with this ingredient, you can add to your own pallet. If you aren’t into lots of basil, you can also substitute by also adding spinach.
Step 7: Top with the other half of bread. Bake at on 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the bread is lightly browned on top and crusty.

Remove from the oven and cut into small squares. Add a toothpick to your little sandwich squares to hold them in place. I got about 15 sandwiches total, but I also cut them on the large side. You could probably get double the amount if you went a little smaller. These Tomato and Basil Panini are packed with so much flavor. I made a small amount with no cheese (which were just as fab) for those who cannot eat dairy. You could also swap the mozzarella with goat cheese.  If your party destination is far, I would suggest pre assembling the Panini ahead of time and arranging with your host/hostess to bake them off when you arrive.

Simple…easy…good!

Do you have any favorite holiday dishes you like to pass at gatherings?

Join me Wednesday for the Lavish Lemon Link up! We will be sharing our holiday cocktail creations.

Happy Monday!

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