Fig, Prosciutto and Brie Panini

What’s easier than a sandwich? And what’s better than a warm, toasty, melty sandwich? One that hits all the right notes.

And this panini has it all: Crusty ciabatta bread. Sweetness from the fig butter. Salty prosciutto. Spicy arugula. Melty, creamy brie cheese.

But what do you do if you don’t have a panini press? Well, you fashion your own, using a cast iron skillet or other heavy pan. Heat a griddle, grill pan or other skillet over medium to medium-high heat (be careful not to get it too hot; we don’t want the bread burning before the cheese melts), then place your sandwich on the heated pan and place your cast iron skillet on top. After a few minutes, remove the cast iron skillet, flip the sandwich, and repeat. Bam! Who needs a fancy pants panini press?

(Obviously not me.)

Fig, Prosciutto and Brie Panini

Fig, Prosciutto, and Brie Panini

Makes 4 sandwiches

4 ciabatta rolls, or 1 loaf of ciabatta bread

1/2 cup fig butter

4 to 5 ounces prosciutto

4 small handfuls arugula

1/2 pound wedge brie cheese

Split the rolls in half horizontally. On the bottom of each roll, spread 1-2 tablespoons of fig butter. Layer with a few slices of prosciutto, a small handful of arugula and about 3 slices of cheese. Top with the top slice of bread.

If using a panini press, heat and use as usual, cooking sandwiches until cheese is melted.

If not using a panini press, heat a griddle, grill pan or skillet over medium to medium-high heat (be careful not to get the pan too hot, or the bread will burn before the cheese has a chance to melt). Once hot, place the sandwich on the pan, then place a cast iron skillet or other heavy pan on top of the sandwich to press it down. Once the bottom of the sandwich is toasted and warm (probably 2-3 minutes), remove the skillet, flip the sandwich, and replace the skillet while the other side heats through.

Slice sandwich in half and serve immediately.

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