Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

RECIPE: Mozzarella & Tomato Panini

Last night was the big test of my sundried tomatoes. I tested them in a panini, which I got the idea to make from a recipe on the Medlock Ames Winery website. The number one thing I learned is that while drying, those tomatoes really suck up flavor. If I were to make these for the general public, this means I would go lighter on the salt, because they turned out incredibly salty. But since they are for me, well, I love salty and they were perfect little nuggests of savoriness in this sandwich. There were also some that got peppercorns in them from the salt-herb mix and those surprised me. They were infused with heat that opened my eyes a little, but it was a nice surprise.

So I learned that making dried tomatoes is very easy, but go light on the flavoring because it won't get lost and could potentially overpower the tomato and it's better to check on them regularly and not just leave them, because (a) they will be done at different times, and (b) there IS a perfect moment to take them out.

The sandwich, by the way? Was sooo good. Here's what I did:


  • two pieces of country french bread
  • 1/3 of a ball of buffalo mozzarella
  • enough basil leaves to cover most of one slice of bread
  • 8 oven-dried tomato pieces
  • 1.5 tablespoons of butter
Put the basil leaves on one slice of bread. Cover with the mozzarella. Add the tomatoes and the other slices of bread. Heat 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat in a skillet. Throw in the sandwich and then put another skillet on top of it. Cook until the bottom is brown, about 2 min. Remove skillet and sandwich and add another 1/2 tablespoon butter. When melted put the sandwich back in with the other side down, put the other skillet back on top, and cook until the other side is brown.

Remove the sandwich and enjoy the melted mozzarella and buttery goodness.


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