What GORGEOUS weather it has been! Mother Nature is giving a true tease for the approaching Spring season. This weekend was quite the lazy one.. my computer decided it didn’t like my power cord any longer causing it’s death without notice. So.. no computer means no web browsing,.. or blogging (Meatless Monday will return in 6 days.) Saturday was just outstanding and bright blue was the sky- we could not bare to stay in. What’s better than a picnic in the backyard? Yesssirrreee- we took advantage of this weather and had lunch outside. I was interested in making this lunch a little more special than the average turkey sandwich and potato chips. Perusing my pantry I found some staple ingredients- artichoke hearts and roasted bell peppers. While the pair make for an elegant and low cal addition to a dinner meal, it would be perfectly delightful on a sandwich..mmmm, how about a grilled sandwich? I’ve become somewhat of a snob with my sandwich prep and literally scoff at the idea of a cold sandwich. I blame my father for this- as he spoiled me with a beautiful panini press two years ago for Christmas. With the help of the 12374853 lemons I had in my fridge (hosted a bridal shower last weekend.. lemon yellow was the theme) I made a quick aoili spread and slapped those puppies on the grill. 3 minutes later- the sizzle of melted cheese on the hot grill let me know the toasting was completemy lunch was ready. Beautiful day with my beautiful fireman..and quite a beautiful sandwich. Made for a satisfied tummy.
Although ideal for lunch- this is easily made into a quick (and cheap!) weeknight dinner. A warm, melty sandwich pairs well with sliced fruit or a bunch of grapes, or a bowl of soup. Focaccia bread, basil, artichokes, and roasted red peppers give this sandwich a distinctive Mediterranean flair. Purchase focaccia bread at your supermarket’s bakery or give ciabatta bread or an Italian round loaf a try.
2 tablespoon canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large clove fresh garlic, minced
The juice of 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon)
zest from 1/2 lemon (1/4-1/2 t)
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-3 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 (8-inch) round focaccia bread (about 8 ounces)
1/2 pound deli-sliced smoked turkey (such as Boar’s Head)
4 (1/2-ounce) slices Swiss or provolone cheese
1/2 cup (from a 7-ounce bottle) roasted red bell peppers, drained and sliced
1/2 cup (from a 6-ounce jar) quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
Heat a panini press or grill pan over medium-high heat.
Combine first 8 ingredients. Cut bread in half horizontally. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the cut sides of bread. Lay cheese evenly over one half of the loaf. Top with turkey, chopped artichoke, and roasted red bell peppers. Cut the sandwich crosswise into 4 wedges. Coat grill pan with cooking spray. Arrange 2 sandwiches in pan or press. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten. Cook 2 minutes on each side (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches.