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Sweet Coppa and Pepper Panini

According to Jason Denton, owner of the Italian wine bar 'ino, the secret to perfect panini is not overcooking the bread, which makes it too brittle. He recommends using a sandwich press or following the method here.

slideshow More Great Hot, Melted Sandwiches

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • One 1-pound ciabatta loaf or 4 large ciabatta rolls or eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of sourdough bread
  • 24 thin slices of coppa or soppressata (about 6 ounces)
  • 4 pickled hot cherry peppers—stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 32 small arugula leaves
  • 8 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Cut the ciabatta crosswise into 4 even pieces. Cut off a very thin layer from the top and bottom crusts. Halve each ciabatta horizontally; arrange 6 coppa slices on the bottom half of each sandwich, then top with 1 sliced cherry pepper and the arugula. Drizzle a little oil and vinegar over the arugula and season with salt and pepper. Close the sandwiches.
  2. Heat 4 teaspoons of olive oil in each of 2 large cast-iron skillets. Add 2 of the sandwiches to each skillet and weight them down with a smaller cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Cook over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, 2 minutes per side. Cut the panini in half and serve hot.
Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published July 2003

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489415 2013-12-06 Jason and Nicole Wilson game-day|italian|sandwiches|4|fast|weeknight-dinner|lunch july-2003, recipes,sweet-coppa-and-pepper-panini 489415