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Open-Faced Prosciutto Panini

In Sandwiches, Panini & Burritos On June 10, 2011 1 Comment

When I come home from work on some summer nights the last thing I want to do is cook. I’m sure most of you will side with me on this one. As we walk through the door and kick off our shoes, we need something fast and satisfying. For me, panini seem to be the perfect choice – all you have to do is buy some rolls, fresh prosciutto and a few cheese slices. If you’ve got other favs, just pile them on. And, whatever you do, avoid that bread topper. With my open-faced panini, you’ll avoid the extra calories (it’s almost swimsuit season, remember?). “Mangia” and don’t feel guilty.

Prep time: 10 to 12 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4

2 small zucchini, tips removed & discarded (this ingredient is optional)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 panini rolls, cut in half horizontally
12 slices Prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele Prosciutto (sliced thick enough to roll, as opposed to shaved)
8 slices Provolone cheese (mild or sharp)
2 roasted red or yellow bell peppers (ready made and sold in a jar), rinsed, pat dry and cut into ½-inch thick slices
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cut zucchini, lengthwise, into ¼-inch thick slices; set aside. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. With a basting brush dipped in olive oil, lightly grease the foil-lined sheet.

3. Arrange zucchini slices, side by side, on the sheet. Lightly drizzle each slice with olive oil.

4. Place sheet with zucchini on oven rack placed 6 inches away from oven’s overhead broiler grill.

5. Grill zucchini about 5 minutes per side, until the slices are golden brown. Remove sheet from oven and set aside.

6. Meanwhile, arrange the 4 panini half-rolls, cut side up, on a serving platter and lightly drizzle them with olive oil. Roll each prosciutto slice.

7. Place 3 slices on each panini half-roll, followed by 2 slices of cheese, 1 or 2 zucchini slices and a few bell pepper slices.

8. Drizzle a little oil, salt and pepper, to taste, on the bell pepper slices.

Serve immediately with your favorite red or white wine.

Wine pairing suggestion: Chianti (red) or Pinot Grigio (white).

Text and Photograph ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real

Roasted Peppers (Peperoni Arrostiti)

In Salads, Vegetables On July 12, 2010 0 Comments


Although red bell peppers are delicious when freh and added raw to salads or other foods, they’re quite succulent when roasted. This is because their naturally sweet flavors are enhanced in the roasting process. Make this traditional “peperoni arrostiti” salad and discover why Italians have such delicate palates. After savoring every ingredient in this delicacy, you’ll never go back to ready made roasted peppers!


Active prep time: 5 to 20 minutes
Inactive prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

3 to 4 large red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and stems discarded
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil

1. Line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers, rounded side up, on foil-lined sheet.

2. Place baking sheet with peppers on an oven rack positioned 6 to 8 inches away from overhead oven broiler/grill.

3. Roast peppers 8 to 14 minutes or until skin is charred.

4. Transfer baking sheet with peppers to a counter and cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the charred skins from roasted peppers.

5. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick strips. In a glass or porcelain serving bowl, toss the peppers together with remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serving tips: Enjoy roasted peppers with Italian breadsticks called “grissini” or on toasted bread.

Accompany with some cheese, a salad and a favorite wine.

Buon Appetito!

Text ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real
Roasted Peppers Salad Photograph Only ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real