It happens to the best of us…sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. I open the fridge, stare inside, close it, and then call pizza to be delivered. After we eat the pizza I feel guilty. Not only am I mad at myself for spending the money, but also disappointed that it wasn’t the hot cheesy meal I was craving.
Now when I’m craving a quick, inexpensive, warm and cheesy no-cook meal I make this ham and chimichurri panini. Sure it’s baked, so technically it’s cooked, but it truly does not require much prep time and you will only need a handful of ingredients.
If you want a quicker option then replace the homemade chimichurri sauce with store bought pesto and use jarred roasted bell peppers. This sandwich makes a great meal for a busy weeknight or to pack for a picnic or road trip. It even tastes great at room temperature and makes great leftovers for school lunch boxes.
Savor the big, bold Latin flavors of homemade chimichurri, smoked ham, roasted red peppers, and Oaxaca cheese on this sandwich. Make it on a ciabatta and slice to serve four people.
Smoked Ham and Chimichurri Panini
- handful Italian parsley, stems removed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- handful fresh cilantro, stems removed
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 10- ounce loaf ciabatta, halved horizontally
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces deli smoked ham
- Oaxaca cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded, sliced, and roasted
- Puree all ingredients in a blender. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place two halves of bread on a baking sheet.
- Brush one cut side of ciabatta with olive oil and spoon on chimichurri sauce and arrange the ham slices on top. On the opposite layer brush with olive oil and layer with red pepper, and top with cheese.
- Bake open for 10 minutes.
- Close sandwich and bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese melts.
- Cut sandwich into quarters. Serve immediately.