This was a before-book club dinner that David and I had last week. We’re usually late eaters (like 9 or 10-o’clock at night), so getting out the door for a 7:30 book club meant very little time for prep, and even less time for cooking. It was a Tuesday, so the farmer’s market at Copley Square was open, and I stopped by after my last class. I picked up some cute small tomatoes and a 4-oz. container of goat cheese. The basil came from the plant I have growing in a pot on the window sill. This was quick & easy and fit the bill perfectly. Even when I have to eat or cook in a short amount of time, having a hot meal still makes it feel like a nice dinner.
Tomato + Goat Cheese + Basil Panini
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 small tomatoes (bigger than grape tomatoes, a little rounder than roma tomatoes, but romas will work fine)
3 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped basil
2 Tablespoons pesto
4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread (or some other hearty sliced bread)
1) Heat a skillet or panini grill while you prepare the sandwiches.
2) For each sandwich, smear one side of one slice of bread with pesto and smear the other with 1.5 ounces of goat cheese.
3) Thinly slice the tomatoes. Remove extra seeds and liquid. Layer the tomato slices on the goat cheese. Sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes, then top with the second slice of bread, keeping the pesto on the inside.
4) Cook on the panini grill or skillet until well-browned on the outside and the cheese is melted on the inside, about 7 minutes. If using a skillet, flip once during cooking to brown both sides and use a spatula to press gently down on the sandwich during cooking.
5) Remove from heat, slice down the middle into halves, and enjoy.