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Grilled Panini with Mozzarella And Dry Jack



– 1 cup finely grated dry jack cheese (or use domestic Parmesan) – 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves, about 15 leaves (or use 1 Tablespoon dried basil) – 4 grams large slices (about 6 inches wide and 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch-thick) crusty Italian bread, cut in half crosswise to make 8 slices – 1 tablespoon each salt and freshly ground pepper – 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest – 3 tablespoons olive oil – 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes – 1 cup boiling water
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1. Pour the boiling water over the sun-dried tomatoes and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain, pat-dry and finely chop.

2. Preheat the broiler.

3. In a small bowl, toss together the mozzarella cheese, basil, lemon zest, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Divide the cheese mixture on 4 slices of bread. Cover with remaining 4 slices and press gently to compress sandwiches.

4. In a large broiler-proof sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Place the sandwiches in the pan, cover and cook until the sandwiches are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn with a spatula, press the sandwiches to flatten slightly, and cook until they golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2 more minutes. Sprinkle the dry jack cheese over the tops of the sandwiches, and keeping them in the pan, place in the broiler. Watching carefully, broil until cheese bubbles and is lightly brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Recipe provided by the California Milk Advisory Board.