I’ll be the first to admit that my panini are less than ideal. I always end up hesitating at the last second, just before putting the top of the press to the bread. Then all the toppings squeeze out. The result is not pretty –– and pretty messy. (I think there’s still mozzarella stuck to the wall behind the press in the test kitchen.)
The late Pat Bruno wrote our cover story on panini for the February 2001 issue. Panini presses are expensive, but if you’re going to do them, do them right. Check out this article for 10 great panini fillings from our archives. And yes … I did actually make that chicken, artichoke and banana pepper panini in the photo. The key? GOING REALLY FAST when shoving down the top of that press!