For all of my fellow lemon lovers out there, this one is for you. Lemon zest and fresh basil make these about the most fresh-tasting grilled cheese sandwiches you’re going to find.
I don’t know about you, but cheese is the reason I could never be a vegan. In fact, the only thing I’ve craved more during this pregnancy is hearty, bakery-style bread. This Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini from my friend Kathy Stahs’ new cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press, is pretty much heaven on a plate. Filled with fresh basil, bright lemon zest and a tangy combination of feta and mozzarella cheeses, it hits the spot on every level.
Since I don’t own a panini press, my friend let me borrow her panini pan which is essentially a grill pan with a heavy lid. The panini cooked up in less than 5 minutes with a golden crust and perfectly melted cheese. With recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, I quickly discovered why my friend told me she would miss her pan while I used it!
It looks like I will be adding a panini press to my Christmas wish list….Kathy’s Greek Lamb Panini with Feta, Tapenade and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is next on my list!
No fork required.
Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella (about 1 cup)
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 slices Italian or sourdough bread (sliced from a dense bakery loaf)
- Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
- Toss together the mozzarella, feta, lemon zest, and basil in a medium-size bowl.
- For each sandwich: Brush olive oil on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over one slice and top the other side with a layer of the cheese mixture. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, oiled side up.
- Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.