Cheese and Olive Tapenade Panini


1 loaf artisanal white bread, sliced thin, slices cut into 3-inch squares
Olive tapenade, recipe follows
Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Softened butter

Spread bread pieces on a work surface. Spread 1/2 tablespoon olive tapenade on half the pieces, then cover with a slice of mozzarella, then cover with the remaining bread slices. Butter both sides of the sandwich and grill in batches in a panini press until browned on both sides. Put on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm until serving.

Olive Tapenade
3 anchovies
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, plus additional as needed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed

Put anchovies, garlic and thyme in a blender or food processor and puree. Add olives and olive oil, and pulse to a smooth paste. If it is too thin, add more pitted olives. If it is too thick, add more olive oil.

One thought on “Cheese and Olive Tapenade Panini

  1. In our family, paninis are the default lunch or snack. Once a week, I make a few tapenades, spreads, pestos, keeping them very simple so they don’t overpower other ingredients. I use either pitted black or green olives any variety, sundried tomatos in olive oil, fresh basil etc. To each of these ingredients, I add olive oil, garlic, salt pepper and any other herbs lying around. (I forgo the anchovies because some kids find it too strong). Process. Place each in a small glass jar and top with a thin layer of olive oil to preserve. Leave in the fridge and encourage the family to use as healthy spreads either alone on grilled bread or as a sandwich base. Make them pareve and they can be used with cheese, grilled veges, tuna, grilled fish or alternatively with grilled steak or chicken or burgers.
    Sunday night, we use them to spice up shabbos leftover sandwhiches. Some good rustic bread, veges, greens and leftovers take on a whole new face!

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