Dairy Farmers of Canada

Panini Toscano

Winner of the 2010 Grate Canadian Grilled Cheese Cook-Off.

  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cooking: 10 min
Yields 1 serving
panini toscano


  • Grilled cheese
  • 1 fresh ciabatta bun about 5-inch (12 cm) square
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon aioli
  • 1 ripe fig cut into 4-5 slices
  • 2 slices of Parma prosciutto thinly shaved
  • 2 slices of 1 oz (30g) each Fox Hill Havarti 1/8-inch (2 mm) thick or other Canadian Havarti
  • 1 oz (30 g) fresh baby arugula
  • 1/2 roasted red bell pepper peeled and cut into 3/4-inch (2 cm) slices
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinaigrette
  • Lemon aioli
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil mayonnaise
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
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Lemon Aioli:

Mix all three ingredients and let flavours mingle for half an hour.

Grilled Cheese:

Split fresh ciabatta in half and brush both sides with lemon aioli. Layer one slice of Havarti on bottom bun, then top with sliced figs, prosciutto, couple sprigs of arugula and finish with other slice of cheese. Top with other side of bun.

Place in preheated panini press and grill until cheese is melting and bread is lightly marked.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

Combine first five ingredients in small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until incorporated.

In other small bowl, dress arugula with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of vinaigrette and place on a plate. Toss two slices of red bell pepper in same bowl to dress lightly and place on top of salad.

When sandwich is ready, remove from press and split in half diagonally. Place around salad and serve immediately.


You could also use Canadian Provolone or Smoked Mozzarella in place of the Havarti.

If using a grill or barbecue, place a weight on top of sandwich and flip halfway through cooking.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 654 Calories
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrate: 51 g
Fat: 37 g
Fibre: 5.1 g
Sodium: 1542 mg