Adam Perry Lang's Toasted Panini with Fontina and Mezzetta Relish

Toasty cheese is my favorite sandwich. I decided to top it with my version of a Mezzetta® Relish, which combines a number of classic Mediterranean flavors but doesn't compromise the carrying element of the sandwich. You can also sprinkle the relish over roasted potatoes with whole garlic cloves, added to a plain pasta salad or potato salad, a mixed green salad, over polenta.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients and Directions:

Mezzetta Relish:
1/2 cup Mezzetta Sweet Cherry Peppers, 1/4" Dice
1/2 cup Mezzetta Roasted Bell Peppers, 1/4" Dice
1/4 cup Mezzetta Pitted Calamata Olives
1 Tablespoon Mezzetta Capote Capers, Coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Mezzetta Artichoke Hearts, 1/4" Dice
1/4 cup Mezzetta Sun Ripened Dried Tomatoes, 1/4" Dice
2 Tablespoon Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Celery, 1/4" Dice
1/4 cup Red Onion, sweet Onion or Shallots
1/4 cup Fresh Ripe Tomato, 1/4" Dice – seasoned with salt and pepper and splash of Red Wine Vinegar before mixing in.
1/2 cup Mezzetta Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Sea Salt to taste, be careful, watch existing seasoning from the Olives and Capers

1. Combine all the ingredients for the relish and allow to sit for a minimum of 1 hour at room temperature, maximum 3 hours – set aside.

Toasted Panini
8 Slices of Sour Dough Loaf Italian Bread (Minimum 7"/Max 10" in diameter), one side on each well buttered with softened butter
16 oz Fontina Cheese sliced into 1/4" pieces
Cut garlic clove for rubbing
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1. Heat a cast iron pan (with bacon press) or Panini press to med-high

2. Equally divide fontina cheese between each of the two slices of bread, making four sandwiches. The well buttered sides should be facing outward with the cheese on the interior.

3. Place in pan and press until golden brown and delicious and flip, seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a quick rub of a freshly peeled garlic clove. Must be done immediately after flipping.

4. Repeat on other side entire task as explained above. Sandwich should be super crisp and golden grown.

5. Cut into four on an angle after neatly cutting off crust (cutting off of crust is optional, but preferred for presentation.

6. Place a large spoonful of the Mezzetta Relish on each triangle.

7. Garnish with Picked tender Yellow Celery Leaves, Picked Flat leaf Italian Parsley and a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of the pepper mill.

3 Tbsp Tender Yellow Celery Leaves from the interior
3 Tbsp Flat Leaf Italian Parsley Leaves, leaves picked apart/torn into 1/3rd's
Drizzle of Mezzetta Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper


- Recipe courtesy of Mezzetta