I don’t have a panini grill, but I like to make panini sandwiches using my George Foreman Grill. It works just as good. I have seen other contraptions you can but to make them on you outdoor grill, but I don’t want to spend the money to buy one. I recently saw a recipe in a Sept/Oct 2008 edition of Wasatch Woman magazine with a great method for easy grilled panini sandwiches on your outdoor grill. All you do is cover a brick with some aluminum foil and use that as your press.
I adapted the recipe from Wasatch Woman and we made these fabulous sandwiches on the grill. They were simple and so delicious. Now you can use regular mozzarella, but the fresh is so wonderful and melts fabulously. I also tried two different artisan breads.
My local Smith’s grocery store carries a Labrea brand in the bakery there. I tried an Italian round and a pane toscana bread. They sell loaves unsliced and sliced there. However, I purchased a loaf that was already sliced into nice 1/2 inch slices. We really like the Italian round the best. We also used some garlic salt, but next time I’m gonna try to get the garlic flavor in the olive oil. You just add a couple of sliced garlic cloves to 1/2 cup olive oil and let it sit for an hour.
- 8 slices (about 1/2 inch thick) of crusty artisan bread (We like the Italian round)
- 1 cup prepared marinara sauce (I used Bertolli brand)
- 8 ounces ounces of fresh mozzarella cut into thin slices
- 10 large fresh basil leaves
- olive oil
- garlic salt (or you can infuse the olive oil with garlic to get that garlic flavor)
- Preheat your outdoor grill and your foil covered brick.
- Stack several leaves of basil together and roll like a cigar. With a sharp knife slice the basil “cigar” into very fine slices across the roll, making a chiffonade (thin confetti-like strips) of basil. To assemble the sandwich, take two slices of bread. Put a spoonful of marinara sauce on each slice of bread and spread around. Top one side with a couple slices of mozzarella. Top the other side with some of the fresh basil and a light sprinkling of garlic salt.
- Put sandwich together and brush the outside of both sides with olive oil. Place the sandwich on the grill and place your foil covered brick on the sandwich, be sure to use a hot pad to move the brick.
- Grill the sandwich for a couple of minutes, remove the brick and turn the sandwich over, replacing the brick back on the sandwich. This way you get those great grill lines on each side. We found that you need to leave the lid of the grill up while doing this. The sandwich we cooked with the lid down got too hot and the bread got black. Your sandwich is done when both side are nice and toast and the inside is nice and melty.
This is the original photo from this post. The above photo was updated in August 2015.