Panini with red pepper puree, pesto, and Fontina Valle d’Aosta; baby artichokes – 10 May 2013


I had other plans for dinner, but I didn’t get home till after 7, so I decided to go for a quick dinner using a Semifreddi Bakery roll I bought and froze last week. It was a “wheat” roll, (duh!) which is what people say when they really mean whole wheat, as far as I can tell. How many rolls are not made primarily with wheat flour!?! However, I think it was not whole wheat (too smooth) but probably only partly whole wheat, partly white flour.

Semifreddi has great ciabatta rolls, but they were all sold out at Berkeley Bowl when I bought this one. Their other breads tend to be soft crusted and not as interesting, with the notable exception of their seeded baguettes, which are a wonder of the world.  I cut the top off this roll and split the rest into two pieces, then spread the bottom layer with one frozen ice cube of red pepper puree (defrosted, obviously), the top with one cube of pesto, and laid on a thin layer of Fontina Valle d’Aosta, a new one with a lot of opinion that I got at The Cheese Board last weekend. I pressed this on my panini press till done. It was quite tasty, but something is too squooshy in this sandwich. I thought it was the cheese, but I was really minimalist with the cheese this time and it was still squooshy. It may be there is too much pesto in one ice cube for one sandwich roll.

I was lucky to acquire 4 of the baby artichokes that our friend J brought to work last week, and we had these tonight. Artichokes scare me, b/c they seem like a lot of work, and I am always afraid they will be either undercooked and crunchy, or overcooked and tasteless. So, this time I got them right, but didn’t record the time. {sigh} I believe they steamed about 25 minutes over moderate heat (I turned on the panini press after the 15 minute timer went off) but I’m not sure of that. Plus, next time the artichokes will inevitably be a different size anyway. Those outer leaves hardly had enough yummy parts to be worth eating, but once you got past them, it was a nice little treat. The hearts were delicious! I had made an aioli for our eggplant sandwiches earlier this week, and we used that for a dipping sauce, which was great. I have to think more optimistically about artichokes, clearly.

It’s Friday! We had our usual Friday wine, Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This bottle was the 2008 version from Costco, which no longer carries this delicious wine. We have found another source, so don’t have to go to Costco when we run out.

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1 Response to Panini with red pepper puree, pesto, and Fontina Valle d’Aosta; baby artichokes – 10 May 2013

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