HAM AND CHEESE PANINI
1 small ciabatta (about 6 oz.)
Olive oil spray
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
6 oz. sliced low-sodium ham
½ cup sliced, drained, canned roasted red peppers
½ cup reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
Several fresh basil leaves
Cut two 2½-inch pieces from the bread. Slice them open horizontally. Spray olive oil on the top halves and sprinkle garlic over the oil. Place ham on the bottom halves. Place roasted red pepper over the ham. Sprinkle cheese over the red pepper and top with 5 or 6 basil leaves. Cover with the top halves.
Heat a nonstick skillet large enough to hold both paninis, over medium-low heat and spray with olive oil. Add the paninis and press down with a lid. Saute 3 minutes. Turn over and press with a lid. Saute another 3 minutes. Makes 2 servings.
Notes: You can use a large baguette, Italian sub roll or focaccia instead. Monterey jack, Swiss or a stronger cheese such as Gorgonzola can be used instead of Cheddar. Complete the meal with a green salad.
— Linda Gassenheimer
McClatchy-Tribune News Service