Simple as simple gets, this fabulous smoked turkey club panini has been on the dinner table in our home at least thrice in the last two weeks. Equal parts because it is quick and easy (soccer, baseball season!) but also because the flavors of the smoked turkey, meaty bacon, sun-dried tomato mayo and heartiness of the spinach make for an absolute homerun of a panini.
If I could be in love with a sandwich, it would be this one. Plus, I love knowing my kids are gobbling down spinach like it’s nobody’s business. Miracles happen when spinach is couched between bacon, bread and cheese.
By the way, Happy Father’s Day (coming up!) to all you papas out there (um, do any males besides my loyal father-in-law read this blog??). I hope the kids in your life treat you well this weekend!
If you are cooking for a certain father in your life, here are a few Father’s Day meal ideas based solely on what my own husband (father to our four boys) loves.
Check out the Recipe Index for inspiration suited toward the tastes of your own father/husband.
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, rinsed, patted dry and minced
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
8 slices thick-cut crusty bread
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli Swiss cheese
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli smoked turkey
3 cups baby spinach or arugula
Cook bacon until crisp. You can use a skillet or use the microwave, placing the bacon in a single layer on a paper-towel lined plate, cover with paper towels and microwave for about 5 minutes (repeating the process if all the bacon doesn’t fit the first round). In a small bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and mayonnaise.
Lightly spread butter over one side of each bread. Lay the butter-sides down on a cutting board or work area. Spread each slice with the sun-dried tomato mayonnaise. Layer half of the cheese on 4 slices of bread then top with turkey, bacon, spinach (or arugula) and remaining cheese. Top with remaining bread, butter side up.
Cook the sandwiches on a panini press, skillet or grill pan heated on medium heat for one minute prior to cooking. I use an indoor grill pan for my paninis but a skillet would work just as well. I place 2-3 sandwiches (depending on the size of the sandwich) in the grill pan and weigh the sandwiches down with a heavy pot (you can also use a foil-covered brick or similar object). Cook the sandwiches for about 4-5 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.
Bread: you can use any type of artisan or sourdough bread in this recipe. Boule loaves (a rustic 8-inch round loaf) works great. I used a honey wheat/multigrain loaf and it was delicious, also.
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