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Monday Night Football: Grilled Italian Panini

Had enough football this weekend? Nah, there's never enough. Tonight we've got delicious panini to enjoy. What are you whipping up?

Makes 4 servings

1 16-ounce loaf unsliced ciabatta or Italian bread
6 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon premade basil pesto
4 ounces thinly sliced capocollo or cooked ham
4 ounces thinly sliced salami
Red onion relish (see below)
1 cup arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Carefully trim off and discard the top crust of the bread to make a flat surface. Turn bread over; trim off and discard bottom crust. Cut remaining bread in half horizontally to form two 1/2-inch slices.

2. Place half of the provolone cheese on one slice of bread. Combine mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl; spread over cheese. Top with capocollo, salami, red onion relish, arugula, remaining cheese, and the other slice of bread. Brush both sides of panini with oil.

3. Grease an unheated grill rack. For a charcoal grill, place panini on the greased grill rack directly over medium coals. Put a 13x9x2-inch baking pan on top of sandwich; weigh down pan with several baking potatoes or a foil-wrapped brick. Grill, uncovered, 5 minutes or until sandwich is lightly browned. Use hot pads to remove baking pan. Use a spatula to carefully turn over sandwich; grill about 3 minutes more or until cheese melts. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place sandwich on grill rack over heat. Place pan on sandwich; cover and grill as above.)

Red Onion Relish
Combine 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced (1 cup); 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar; and 1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cover; let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

-- Krissy Tiglias

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