A Taste of Liguria

images/Camogli
Although panini are often prepared with ciabatta, in the small seaside resort of Camogli (above) on the Italian Riviera, they are nearly ubiquitously made with focaccia, the dimpled flat bread that is a regional specialty of Liguria.

To make panini in the Ligurian style, split a square piece of focaccia into two halves, brush the interior sides with olive oil, and fill with a combination of cheeses and meats (the variation pictured here is filled with pecorino toscano fresco, prosciutto cotto, and arugula).images/panini Place the sandwich in a hot, non-stick pan (olive oil may not be necessary if the focaccia is already saturated with olive oil, as it often is), and top it with something heavy that will weigh down and help to flatten the sandwich when a little pressure is applied. A heavy pan, for example, may be used. Flip the sandwich to cook both sides until golden brown and crisp, making sure not to burn the outside, and serve.