Panini (small bread in Italian) is one of my favorite versions of sandwiches. Everything is better when toasted.
Paninis arose in the US around the 1950s, (although they’ve been around as early as during the 16th-century in Italian cookbooks). The sandwiches became trendy in Milanese bars in the 1970s and 1980s which quickly spread to hip U.S. restaurants in New York, whose popularity then spread to other U.S. cities, each with their own distinctive variations (Dining Chicago).
PS. My brother and I had a spirited debate on what more important to have for a decent sandwich – I would have mediocre fillings as long as the bread was good (ie rustic, toasted/grilled), while my brother would forgo fancy bread (ie he was ok with regular plain old white untoasted bread slices) in favor of better cheese. Let us know your vote!
Pastrami Swiss Panini
4 slices wheat bread
4-6 slices swiss cheese
3/4 lb pastrami
extra virgin olive oil
Heat up the panini press while prepping your sandwich.
To assemble the sandwich, drizzle olive oil on the bottom side of one bread slice. Layer the pastrami, cilantro, and red cabbage. Top with swiss cheese and the other bread slice, then drizzle the top with olive oil. Place the sandwich on the press. Remove the panini once the cheese has melted, it is heated through middle, and the bread is toasted to a golden brown.