Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Press on

My shiny new Panini press can work magic!

Finding good gluten-free sandwich bread is a problem. It never tastes quite right, the texture is generally too dense, and it falls apart easily. Don’t get me wrong: many good cooks have found solutions to those problems, but not without a great deal of experimentation, and a huge amount of patience and persistence (neither of which I possess).

I have found an easy solution, though, which has rocked my lunchtime world! It’s my brand new Hamilton Beach Panini Press. I sampled a small sandwich made with turkey breast, Swiss cheese, homemade pesto, and Udi’s multigrain sandwich bread at a support group meeting several weeks ago. It was so delicious that I went right home and ordered an inexpensive (under $25) press on Amazon. It’s now sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting to create its next work of art.

Trust me on this: putting a couple of slices of even so-so bread, along with your favorite toppings, in a Panini press works some kind of magic on a sandwich. You (almost) forget that the bread is gluten-free as you enjoy that warm, crunchy, melty bit of heaven.

For lunch today, I had a sandwich made of gluten-free sourdough bread (purchased at the farmers’ market), homemade black olive tapenade (so easy), sliced jalapeno-jack cheese, thin salami, and fresh tomatoes. Three minutes in my little press, and I had a lunch that would please anyone. Seriously! I wish I had taken a picture of that sandwich to share with you, but I had it wolfed down before I even thought about it.

Maybe next time.

Black olive tapenade is great for sandwiches.

In the meantime, here’s the recipe for Easy Black Olive Tapenade:

¼ C. chopped black olives (I used canned olives but chopped my own. I think you can buy canned chopped olives as well.)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 T. sea salt*
½ C. extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together. Serve warm or cold. Use as a spread for sandwiches or as dip for bread.
*You may want to reduce the amount of salt by half, and it will still be delicious.