BLT Panini with Garlic-Herb Mayo

This is one of my husband’s favorite lunches. It’s perfect for these cool fall days when you want something warm and filling to help make it thru the day. Between our schedules, we don’t have a lot of time to put into making lunch. It usually consists of left-overs from the night before, or a thrown together sandwich. This suddenly changes after I’ve had a Prep Day and an ample supply of ready to eat bacon is in the house! I have to admit, any time I get to use my grill pan I get excited. From sandwiches and quesadillas to steaks and fish, it really is the most used item in my kitchen.
When you have bacon pre-cooked, this sandwich is made almost as quickly as a standard ham and cheese. Okay, maybe a grilled cheese. So enjoy!

BLT Panini
4 thick slices of crusty bread (I like a nice Tuscan white, but Sourdough will work well too) 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.
4 slices of pre-cooked bacon, cut in 1/2 (to total 8 slices)
2 leaves of Romaine lettuce, cut in 1/2 ( to total 4)
2 thick slices of tomato (or several cherry tomoatoes, halved)
2 thin slices of fresh mozerella (swiss cheese slices are also good)

Garlic-Herb Mayo:
4 Tbsp. mayo
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
a pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Heat the grill pan (or skillet) with 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Put two peices of bread on the grill, top with 4 slices of bacon each. Wait about 3 minutes. While waiting, mix together the mayo. Put 1 Tbsp on each of the remaining slices of bread.Use the remaining 2 Tbsp. for dipping. Next layer on top of bacon: lettuce, tomato and top with cheese then bread. Usince a large spatula, push down so the sandwich is weighted down, only for a few seconds. Flip the sandwich over, adding more olive oil if needed. This is the time I grab my foil-covered brick, but you can use the spatula again, and push down on the sandwich. You’ll know it’s ready when the cheese starts to melt.
I make the extra Garlic-Herb Mayo as my husband likes to dip his panini. I myself think it’s perfect the way it is. That’s it! I know it seems like many steps, but once you’ve made it once, you’ll be able to whip it together in just a few minutes. I timed myself this weekend and I hadĀ 6 madeĀ 5 minutes! Not bad for a wonderful comfort-lunch.