Fontina, Ham and Pesto Panini

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

In place of a panini press, you can use a large, heavy grill pan. Heat the empty pan over medium heat. Lightly oil the pan, add the panini, and place a flat lid or plate on top of the sandwiches to weight them down. Cook as directed in the second step.


  • 1/2 cup arugula pesto, at room temperature
  • 8 slices country-style white sandwich bread
  • 4 oz. fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. Black Forest ham, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, plus more, as needed


Prepare the panini
Spread the pesto on one side of each bread slice. Place 4 bread slices, pesto side up, on a work surface and top with equal amounts of the cheese and ham. Cover each sandwich with one of the remaining bread slices, pesto side down. Brush the sandwiches on both sides with the 3 Tbs. olive oil.

Cook the panini
Preheat a panini press over medium heat according to the manufacturer’s instructions and brush generously with olive oil.

Working in batches if necessary, place the sandwiches on the panini press, then place the weighted lid on top. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the undersides are golden, about 2 minutes. Turn the sandwiches over, weight them down again and cook until golden on the other side, about 2 minutes more.

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board, cut in half and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Make Ahead, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).

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