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Simple Italian Sandwiches

Recipes from America's Favorite Panini Bar

Simple Italian Sandwiches by Jennifer Denton
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With nothing more than a panini grill, a toaster oven, and a few simple ingredients, Jennifer and Jason Denton bring the fresh, robust flavors of Italy to your home table in Simple Italian Sandwiches.

Eating in Italy is all about simple pleasures, relaxing with good company, and savoring fresh, no-frills foods like traditional toasted panini, crustless tramezzini, and crunchy bruschetta. In Simple Italian Sandwiches, Jennifer and Jason Denton offer up a collection of recipes for these classic bread-based dishes, plus condiments, antipasti, and salads that are easy enough for the novice cook yet tasty enough for anyone with a sophisticated palate. From Soppressata, Fontina, and Arugula Panini, to Mozzarella and Basil Pesto Tramezzini, to Roasted Butternut Squash, Walnut, and Asiago Bruschetta, the dishes can be prepared in minutes and require minimal cooking.

With simplicity the governing rule for today's busy schedules, Simple Italian Sandwiches is the ideal cookbook for anyone who wants to prepare vibrant, flavorful food for family and friends, and then sit down and enjoy it with them.

HarperCollins; May 2009
160 pages; ISBN 9780061907081
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Simple Italian Sandwiches
Author: Jennifer Denton; Jason Denton; Kathryn Kellinger

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Tomato Panini

Makes 4 panini

These ingredients are as emblematic of Italy as spaghetti itself. We use fresh tomatoes when they're ripe and fragrant, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes (see page 24) when they're not. Serve this panino with a little Peperonata alongside for color and a little jolt of acidic heat.


4 ciabatta rolls
15 thin slices soppressata or other hard salami
1 small bunch arugula, well rinsed and dried
Freshly ground black pepper
8 thin slices Italian Fontina


1. Preheat a panini grill.

2. Slice off the domed tops of the ciabatta rolls and reserve for another use. The rolls should now be about 1 inch thick. Split the rolls horizontally.

3. Drizzle a trail of olive oil over the bottom half of each roll. Follow with 3 slices of prosciutto per sandwich. Top each sandwich with about 3 tomato slices. Finish with the mozzarella, using about 2 slices per sandwich to achieve a thin, even layer. Season with salt and pepper and cover with the top halves of the ciabatta.

4. Grill the sandwiches for about 3 minutes until the bread is lightly toasted and the cheese has just begun to melt. Cut each in half and serve with a tablespoon or two of Peperonata, if you want, on each plate.

Roasted Garlic and Arugula Oil Bruschetta

Makes 8 bruschetta

This bruschetta is garlic bread for serious garlic lovers: whole roasted cloves are topped with a bright green streak of peppery arugula oil. Some feel that mints should be kept at the ready. We think there's nothing better than garlic breath.

There will be leftover arugula oil; use the extra over sandwiches, or spooned over a Potato and Watercress Frittata (page 118).


8 baguette slices, about ½ inch thick, cut on the diagonal
1 cup ricotta fresca
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes (page 24)
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine the arugula, olive oil, and salt in a blender and puree to a smooth, vivid green. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

2. Toast the baguette slices on a preheated panini grill for 1 to 2 minutes or in a toaster oven until they are lightly browned.

3. Top each toast with a few cloves of Balsamic Roasted Garlic. Spoon a trail of arugula oil over each and serve immediately.