Perfect for brunch or lunch—just imagine you’re in Tuscany.




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September 2006

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Breadstuffs

Recipe of the Month

Grilled Tuscan Merlot Panini

Panini, which means “sandwiches” in Italian, have been hot for several years now, and keep getting more popular as people find that panini presses do double duty for healthy grilling of meat, fish and vegetables.

The Italians had no word for “sandwich” and “panino” meant small bread, or roll. When the G.I.s sought familiar food—sandwiches—panini was tapped as the term. Thus there are no “paninis”—the word is already plural, it’s a compound noun. So whether you’re ordering one or a dozen, it’s still panini.

Tuscan Merlot SauceThis recipe incorporates one of our Top Picks Of The Week, the delicious Tuscan Merlot Sauce from Vino de Milo. But you can substitute your own thick, richly-flavored tomato sauce. The recipe was developed by Vino de Milo customer, Bill Justice.

Enjoy your panini for brunch, lunch, or a snack, as millions of Italians, Americans and panini-lovers the world-over now do. If you want to learn more about the fine art of panini-making, we’ve recommended some books below.


  • 2 ciabatta rolls, sliced lengthwise (or 4 slices of hearty bread)
  • 1 cup Vino de Milo Tuscan Merlot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brie (4 ounces), sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Spread Tuscan Merlot Sauce across the bottom part of two slices of ciabatta.
  • Cover with brie and smoked ham.
  • Top with the remaining ciabatta, brush with olive oil and grill with a panini grill until the cheese is melted and bread is golden.
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • NOTE: The photo shown at the top left is of the panini before the top of the bread is added and before the panini is grilled and flattened.

Become A Panini Pro

Panini Sandwiches, Panini Simple Italian Sandwiches
Panini, Bruschetta, Crostini: Sandwiches, Italian Style, by Viana La Place. A fun, inventive and mouth-watering collection of sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, snacks (there are sweet versions too) and hors d’oeuvres. Both simple and elegant bruschetta and crostini, Italian open-faced toasts and canapes. $12.32. Click here for more information or to purchase. Check below for our favorite panini presses. Sandwiches, Panini, and Wraps: Recipes for the Original Anytime and Anywhere Meal, by Dwayne Ridgaway. The author, a caterer and former resort chef provides lots of entertaining and serving suggestions along with his recipes. He provides a knowledge base and ingredients that allows readers to exercise their “inner chef” and create tempting fare. $11.04. Click here for more information or to purchase. Simple Italian Sandwiches: Recipes from America’s Favorite Panini Bar, by Jennifer Denton and Jason Denton. With a panini grill (or a toaster oven) and a few simple ingredients, you can be turning out sandwiches like your favorite café. From Oven-Roasted Tomato and Arugula Paninito, Fig, Prosciutto and Arugula Bruschetta, it’s all easy and delicious. $14.27. Click here for more information or to purchase.


Recipe © copyright Vino de Milo. Additional material Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved.

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