Friday, 26 December 2008

Tomato Jam and Mozzarella Panini

Cherry tomato jam (yields about 1 cup)
4 cups cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes
   or Sungold tomatoes, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
Black pepper

Panini or Grilled Cheese (enough for 4 
   large sandwiches)
8 slices (your choice) of bread or 2 uncut
2 cups grated mozzarella (you might not
   need this much cheese, depending on the
   size of your bread)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Tomato jam
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Olive oil or butter, for frying

  • To make the jam: In a medium-sized pot (around 2½ quarts) over medium-high heat, combine the halved tomatoes, honey, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to avoid scorching as the jam condenses.
  • Simmer until the mixture is completely broken down, reduced and thickened enough that you can scoop it on top of itself and it stays there, which will take somewhere between 30 to 50 minutes. Use the jam immediately or let it cool and store it, covered, for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
  • To make the sandwiches: If you're making panini, brush olive oil or melted butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place the oiled sides down on a plate. Mix the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese together. Working in pairs, spread a generous layer of jam on one piece of bread and top the other with a generous handful of cheese, spread evenly down the bread (use a little more than you think you probably should). Top the cheese with a sprinkle of torn basil and press the other slice of bread, tomato jam-side down against the cheese to make a sandwich. Repeat for remaining sandwiches.
  • Grill the sandwich in a panini press, electric grill or in a pan on the stovetop until both sides are crispy and turning golden brown on the edges.