I’m sure I’ve told you all about our panini discovery in Lyon, France. Every day for lunch we’d stop at the same cart beside Place Bellacour and buy the same sandwiches and two cans of Coke Diète from the same vendor.


It was partly because of the panini, which made for comforting midday fuel after a morning spent meandering cobbled streets and medieval ruins, and partly because the vendor graciously let me converse with her in halting French. I could have sworn she actually enjoyed letting me practice my language skills on her. Now that we were outside Paris, I wasn’t interrupted and replied to in English every time I opened my mouth.

Around here, panini are always on the menu when I want to go on vacation but, alas, am stuck in my kitchen.  (I am chagrined, though, that the panini is the new bagel — cheap, Americanized incarnations are even sold on certain fast food menus and in the freezer aisle. Talk about ruining my psychological getaway.)


Just about any bread will do, but I’m partial to this latest trick that makes the meal seem less lunchbox, more café patio. I make a batch of whole wheat pizza dough, stretch it into a thin rectangle and baste it with a bit of olive oil. Then I bake it at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes or so. When it cools, I cut it into individual sandwich-sized wedges and layer on the fillings, then press.

Try these favorites of ours:

  • Scrambled egg, ham, cheese & dried or chopped oregano
  • Caramelized onion, kalamata olives and chèvre dipped in homemade ketchup
  • Smoked salmon and chèvre
  • Smoked turkey, asparagus and fontina
  • Sliced tomatoes, arugula and French feta

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Dolly said,

    Great idea! Looks so professional! 🙂

  2. 2

    Elisa said,

    Yum! I love the pizza dough idea! Some of my recent panini favourites have been mozz and fig jam (sounds crazy, but it’s amazing!) and fresh ricotta with, well, just about anything! I think your caramelized onion idea will be next…

  3. 3

    Trisha said,

    Dolly: Thanks!

    Elisa: I think mozz & figs are amazing together (same goes for chevre & fig).

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