Doesn’t that just make your mouth water? I know, right?!! This was my second favorite panini at my favorite restaurant called Panera Bread that we used to live less than a block from.
My all-time favorite of theirs was their Chicken Tomesto, and then when they discontinued that, I had to find a new love. I was so sad when they quit making my favorite, that because we were such loyal customers, the managers would make me a similar one just for me!
It wasn’t quite as good because the ingredients weren’t exactly the same, but the effort was so much appreciated!
I weaned myself off of that one though, because I didn’t want to be one of those PIA customers that I always disliked myself who expected “special treatment”, and discovered a new favorite…their Turkey Artichoke Panini!
I was in love all over again!
Noooo, not fickle. I still prefer the Tomesto over the Artichoke, but what’s a girl to do?
Then………..we moved. We bought a house in a town that didn’t have a Panera’s.
Though I was ecstatic and appreciative to be a home owner again……the panini addiction dilemma was looking pretty scary.
This was going to get ugly.
I was seriously going to need therapy!!
No more paninis?? Seriously???
Oooooh, I don’t think so! I
had to come up with a plan and fast!
Kidnapping the managers and holding them hostage to make me these amazing sandwiches didn’t sound like a very good idea, so I decided that I was just going to have to invest in a panini maker and figure it out myself. 😉
How hard could it be really??
Not that hard or they wouldn’t be able to fast-food sell it and still turn a hefty profit.
Definitely do-able. 😉
So way after Thanksgiving, when you actually start to crave turkey again, I decided to thaw some of the leftover holiday roast turkey and quiet the craving monster and just make one!
I’ve been making these for years now, and I’ve even finally upped it to making homemade Triple-Cheese Focaccia to complete this non-jail-time-good sandwich.
I swear it’s just as good as theirs, even better actually, because everything is made fresh right in my own kitchen with my own two hands.
No law-breaking needed to acquire this sandwich. And so much more fun to eat without a file inside.
So if you, too, LOVE Turkey Artichoke Paninis and don’t have a Panera’s near you either, or if you’ve sadly never even had this fabulous sandwich, trust me, you’ll LOVE it! It honestly tastes like theirs. But even better.
Hope you enjoy as much as we do and have a most wonderful day!! 😀 Think spring!! 😉
TURKEY ARTICHOKE PANINI (Even better than Panera’s!)
Makes 4 Panini Sandwiches
1 loaf of my Triple Cheese Focaccia, or any focaccia or ciabatta you choose
1 cup hearty spinach-artichoke dip or cheese spread, spread thickly, *if your dip doesn’t have much to it, stir in some added coarse chopped artichoke hearts and some fresh baby spinach leaves, torn
shaved asiago and parmesan cheese to taste – but don’t be shy with it
slices of roast turkey, as much as desired, or about a 1/2 lb. or so for 4
12-16 slices of my Oven Roasted Tomatoes , can use fresh thin slices if preferred or jarred sun-dried tomato slices
2 shallots, sliced and caramelized in 1/2 Tbl. butter, or you can use half of a large red onion, chopped (either is very good)
1 tsp. good quality sweet aged balsamic vinegar
more shaved asiago and parmesan cheese, to taste
In the morning, or preferably the day before, make focaccia. (Or use purchased.)
If roasting tomatoes, roast now, set aside, and cover.
Preheat panini grill to medium temperature. In a medium sauce pan, sauté sliced shallots or red onion in butter until caramelized but not browned. Add balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the loaf of focaccia into quarters or into slices of desired size. Slice open and spread half of the dip/spread onto bottoms. Top with asiago and parmesan shavings, as much or little as you like.
Top with turkey. Top with sautéed shallots and roasted tomato slices. (*If your dip is skimpy, you can also top the turkey with some coarsely chopped artichoke hearts and some drained or fresh spinach leaves. Or you can stir some into your dip. Either way works fine.)
Spread tops heavily with rest of dip/spread, top with more asiago and parmesan. Place tops on and lightly press. Brush tops of paninis with olive oil and place oiled side-down. Brush new tops with oil. Close lid properly, lightly press and level, and grill 5 minutes on medium or until the cheese begins to melt and there are grill marks on the focaccia bread. Remove with a sturdy spatula turning over onto plate. Slice in half at an angle, and serve hot with chips, salad or your favorite soup for dunking!