Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grilled Asparagus Panini

We just got finished moving across the country.  And when I say across the country, I mean literally from ocean to ocean.  Imagine driving this.  Then imagine driving this 5 months pregnant with a 4 year old and a two year old in the back seat.

That was my life for the last month.

Moving into a new house, you know there will be things that you forget.  Like when you're checking out the new apartment and sit down on the potty, only to realize after the fact that you haven't brought in any of your stuff and there is no toilet paper on the roll.  Unfortunately, this was a true story.

Another of those instances is when you see that the showers require curtains, and alas, there are none available.  Grown men and pregnant women should never have to take baths to actually get clean.  It's very unattractive and slightly dangerous.  But it had to be done, because let me tell you, that last day of driving we stayed in a nasty hotel.  The husband said that it looked like adult parties were held there.  Needless to say, one look at the bathroom and I was going nowhere near it, let alone my children.

Getting your hair wet in a bathtub when you are older than 10 is a serious issue.  Laying down is awkward, and using a cup to soak your hair is really not good enough.  Thankfully, I survived the ordeal and made dinner that night.

This sandwich is a spring and summer favorite of ours, and it was perfect for moving in since it really only requires one plate and a panini press.  If you don't have a panini press, you can use a grill pan, saute pan, or even a George Foreman if you have one lying around.  I cannot express how much I love my panini press though.  It's a great investment.

Start by putting some olive oil, salt and pepper on your asparagus.  Then use your panini press to grill them up.  This takes about 2-3 minutes.

Then cut your bread (make sure it's pretty sturdy bread, or it will get very soggy) and mozzarella and assemble your sandwiches.  Then place them on your panini press, close it, and you have melty, wonderful sandwiches in less than 5 minutes.

One of the best parts about this sandwich is that you can make regular grilled cheese for kids like mine who won't touch asparagus and you won't be a short order cook doing it.

Grilled Asparagus Panini
*forgive me for not knowing my source.  I found this online some time ago.

1 bunch asparagus, woody ends broken off
2 teaspoons olive oil (I never measure this, or the salt and pepper)
Salt and pepper
Focaccia (I went for a nice multi-grain this time)
4 slices prosciutto (optional, but delicious)
8 oz fresh mozzarella

Heat panini press to medium-high.  Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Grill 2-3 minutes; set aside.  For each sandwich, slice bread.  Place a slice of prosciutto on the bottom half of each sandwich.  Top with 1/4 of the cheese and a little bit more salt and pepper if desired.  Top with as many asparagus spears as will fit securely.  Close the sandwich and grill about 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
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