Thursday, 10 February 2011

Romancing the Grill

This week's theme in our cooking club is romance, or "That's Amore" to be specific. All this build up to Valentine's Day puts a lot of pressure on a person.. well, maybe when you are newly in love. But what about those of us who have been together for a long time? Don't get me wrong, we are still romantic, very much so. And I do demand expect appreciate presents and a little extra spoiling on Valentines Day.

But I firmly believe that it is the little day-to-day things that mean the most. Like when we prepare meals together on my husband's day off. Usually brunch or sometimes lunch. Generally followed by a nap with the pups. Okay, we're not too exciting, but we eat well.

He is master of the grill. Panini grill that is. He also handily mans the outside grill but it is way too cold to think about that today. The panini grill was my present to him some time ago and he proudly presses delicious sammies on demand. So today we worked together and made Giada's Tuna and Artichoke Panini. I told him it was for romance week. He said, "Yes! Fish is very romantic!"


Whether you make these panini alone or with someone you love - you will be delighted at how bright and flavourful they are.

Tuna and Artichoke Panini
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis.


    * 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 2 garlic cloves
    * 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    * 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    * 2 (6-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, drained
    * 1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
    * 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    * 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 (16-ounce) ciabatta bread, halved horizontally (I used my Normandy apple bread from yesterday)
    * 1 tomato, diced


Puree the olives, oil, garlic, and zest in a food processor until smooth and spreadable. Blend in the mayonnaise. Toss the tuna, artichokes, lemon juice, and pepper in a medium bowl, keeping the tuna in small chunks.

Hollow out the bottom and top halves of the bread. Spread the olive puree over both cut sides of the bread. Spoon the tuna and artichoke mixture onto the bottom half of the bread. Sprinkle the tomatoes over. Cover with the bread top. Cut the sandwich crosswise into 6 pieces and serve. (I used my Normandy apple bread from yesterday)