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Panini with Mortadella, Provolone and Broccoli Rabe
The grilled sandwiches that we know today as panini are believed to have originated in the mid-20th century in Italy’s paninoteche (sandwich shops). Whatever their history, panini offer a tantalizing combination of warm, toasted bread, salty meats and melty cheese. Our panini also include sautéed broccoli rabe, which offers a bitterness to offset the richness of mortadella and provolone while also making these simple sandwiches complete meals. We spread vinegary crushed red peppers on the bread to add piquancy—sometimes labeled as “hoagie spread,” it’s sold jarred in most supermarkets. Chopped peperoncini or cherry peppers would be a good substitute.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
medium garlic cloves, peeled and halved
01In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the cloves begin to brown, about 30 seconds.Add the broccoli rabe and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring, until just starting to soften, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stem pieces are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic, then transfer the rabe to a medium bowl; set aside. Wipe out the skillet and set it aside.
Great sandwich. The broccoli rabe takes it to another level. Even a sandwich can be company-worthy!