Sandwiches in Italian Suits

Sandwiches in Italian Suits

Gabriel Gomez

Principal Chef
UCLA Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA

Classic BBQ Ciabatta Chicken Grillers
— Photo by Amarak

A SAVORY SPINOFF. Last year the University of Pennsylvania introduced this deli station spinoff to feature upscale gourmet sandwiches including paninis.


"In order to enhance our deli counter without doing a complete overhaul, we decided to purchase a panini grill. Real estate is pretty valuable in our cafè, so the grill proved to be a really economical enhancement.

"We developed a complete panini program and have received a lot of positive feedback from customers.

"Some of our more interesting—and popular—panini sandwiches are the vegetarian and the cilantro chicken offerings. The vegetarian panini is a balsamic marinated grilled eggplant with Swiss cheese, tomato and basil pesto mayonnaise. The cilantro chicken is a chicken breast, marinated in olive oil infused with cilantro and garlic that is also served with the pesto mayo.

"Since it's always good to have a sandwich that offers a little heat, we do a Creole chicken panini on focaccia that we serve with chipotle mayonnaise."

Gerry Fortin

Head Pastry Chef
The College of William
and Mary Williamsburg, VA

"When we started making different flavored pound cakes, we thought it might be interesting to use the slices in a panini-type dessert. As it turns out, the pound cake marks really well in the press.

"You can use just about any flavor of pound cake: plain, chocolate, marble, or strawberry. Be creative. Use what you have available. For the filling try nutella, raspberry preserves, ganache or flavored cream cheese.

"To assemble, butter both slices of the pound cake, add 1/2 oz. filling inside, and top with the other slice of cake. Use a clean panini grill and close the lid. Make a few to test temperature and doneness, as grills are different. Cut in half at the corner. Top with a dessert sauce and rosette of whipped cream.

"One of our most popular versions is made with a chocolate hazelnut spread as the filling. We'll use plain pound cake, fill, grill and drizzle raspberry sauce on top. It's delicious."

Carol Kelly

Food Service Director

Richard Reale

Executive Chef
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

"Last year we launched an entire station—named Savory—for upscale sandwiches. It's sort of a spinoff of the traditional deli concept where we menu out-of-the-ordinary sandwiches and paninis.

"In addition to featuring a 'Panini of the Month', some of which transition into standard menu items, we customize all of our sandwiches by naming them after streets or cities around the area."

UPenn's Panini Parade...

Delancy—roast beef, provolone, arugula, roasted peppers and brown mustard on whole wheat

Columbus—Italian chicken cutlet with provolone, roasted peppers and pesto mayonnaise on whole wheat roll

Locust—Italian tuna with capers, olives, roasted peppers and arugula on sourdough

Logan—smoked turkey with arugula and spicy pear and Brie spread on focaccia

Cherry roasted chicken—with Swiss cheese, red onion arugula and Pesto Mayonnaise on Sourdough

Rittenhouse—dill Havarti cheese with arugula, tomato and sun dried tomato-balsamic spread on sourdough

Pine smoked turkey—with Swiss cheese and cole slaw on sourdough

South Philly—salami, capicolla, mortadella, proscuitto, provolone, lettuce and tomato with pesto mayonnaise on foccacia

South Street—smoked turkey with arugula, red onion

and orange cranberry mayonnaise on whole wheat

Society Hill—raspberry chipotle chicken with arugula and tomato on sourdough

Baltimore—roasted chicken, romaine, red onion with Caesar dressing on focaccia

Liberty—artichokes, tomato and sharp provolone with Parmesan artichoke spread on focaccia

Chestnut—roast beef, ham, arugula, tomato, pickled vegetables and olive spread on ciabatta

Sansom Street—fresh made braided pretzel with turkey, cheddar and spicy mustard

Spruce—ham and Brie with bacon, arugula, tomato and honey mustard on ciabatta

Cu-Delphia—roast pork, ham with brown mustard, mayo and dill pickle on ciabatta

Recipes by Richard Reale, Executive Chef, University of Pennsylvania.

Brie, Ham, and Pear Panini

YIELD: 2 servings

4 slices sourdough, whole wheat, or white bread
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 oz. thinly sliced Black Forest ham
1 firm but ripe Bartlett or Anjou pear, peeled, halves lengthwise, cored, and each half cut lengthwise into 3 thick slices.
pepper, fresh ground, as needed
2 oz. Brie cheese, thinly sliced
2 Tbsps. butter, softened

  1. Preheat a panini maker, grill pan, or griddle over medium to mediumhigh heat. Place 2 slices of bread on a work surface and spread half of the mustard on each slice. Divide the ham between the 2 sandwiches and arrange on top. Add 3 slices of pear to each sandwich and grind a bit of pepper over the pear slices. Top the pears with slices of cheese. Place a slice of bread on top and butter the top slices of bread with half of the butter. (If using a panini maker, butter both sides of the bread before grilling.) Place the sandwiches in the panini maker and close the lid. Grill until nicely browned on both sides. Cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo by Blake Swihart and Kathleen Sanderson, Pear Bureau Northwest

Photo by American Egg Board


Philly Panini Sandwich

YIELD: 12 servings

12 rolls panini-style or Italian flatbread rolls, split
1/2 cup olive
oil 6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups red bell pepper, thin sliced
2 cups onion, thin-sliced
1 Tbsp. dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
12 portions (2.5 oz.) frozen Philly steak slices
24 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. salt
11/2 tsp. lemon-pepper blend
24 provolone cheese slices

  1. Brush inside of cut bread halves with olive oil and garlic. Broil or grill cut bread halves for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Keep warm.
  2. Grill peppers and onions in 2 Tbsps. olive oil. Sprinkle on basil, salt, and pepper; toss and keep warm.
  3. Grill steak slices on hot grill 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly cooked; keep warm.
  4. Blend eggs, salt and lemon-pepper. Cook and scramble eggs in small batches, as needed, until firm throughout with no visible liquid egg remaining. Keep warm.
  5. Per Order. Portion about 2 oz. steak and 1/2 cup cooked eggs on bottom half of each cut panini. Top with 2 slices cheese and 1/3 cup grilled vegetables. Cover with top half of panini. Serve immediately.

Recipe Chef Lynn K, Sunderlend, Joplin, MO Public Schools

Photo by Hass Avocado Board


Chicken Avocado Pancetta Panini

YIELD: 24 servings

1 Tbsp. lemon zest, finely chopped
11/2 cups aioli
24 5-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
as needed, olive oil
as needed, rosemary, finely chopped
12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 lbs. avocados
1/3 cup lemon juice as needed, salt and pepper
48 pieces focaccia (about 4" x 5" each)
3 lbs. tomatoes, thinly sliced
24 slices pancetta, fried crisp (two thick slices of bacon, fried, may be substituted per sandwich) as needed, arugula leaves

  1. Stir lemon zest into aioli; let stand 1 hour to marry flavors.
  2. Pound chicken breast halves to even thickness, about 3/8-inch.
  3. Lightly coat each piece with olive oil; rub each with some of the rosemary and garlic.
  4. Marinate for 3 hours, refrigerated.
  5. Roughly mash avocado; stir in lemon juice; reserve. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Grill chicken until just firm to the touch, about 2 minutes per side; reserve.
  6. Per Order: Spread 1 piece focaccia with 1/4 cup avocado mixture; spread 1 piece with 1/2 tablespoon lemon aioli; reserve. Layer avocado with sliced tomato, 1 piece chicken; 1 slice pancetta and arugula leaves. Top with remaining piece of focaccia, aioli side down. Lightly film a hot frying pan with olive oil. Pan grill sandwich, lightly pressing it down with a spatula, until focaccia is browned. Turn; repeat procedure. Cut in half on diagonal.

Recipe by The California Avocado Commission

Photo by the American Egg Board