You don’t need a panini press to make a proper panino. Just toast your bread in a toaster oven (or whatever device you have at home) and then use your body to press the sandwich.

You probably think it’s another fake Italian recipe created by a Japanese lady. Not this one.

One morning last month, a house guest from Italy (N) was making panini in my kitchen. She had procured sliced bread and tomatoes at Seven-Eleven the night before.

I was going in and out of the kitchen doing my own thing, and from the corner of my eye, I saw her popping some bread into the toaster oven, slicing tomatoes, sprinkling salt, and drizzling olive oil. She looked happy.

N: Ayuko, would you like a piece?
Me: Yes, I’d love that. Thank you.

N cut the sandwich diagonally, placed one triangle on a clean plate, said “You eat low-fat. This one has no olive oil. Would you like to put some olive oil yourself?” then handed me the bottle of olive oil. I was touched. I put a tiny bit of oil on my piece.

N: My grandmother taught me this. Press down with your hands.
Me: (placing all my weight on both hands crushing my panino) Yesss.
Panino: (making delightful sounds) Crack. Creak. Creak.


proper panini (10)

OMGoodnes. Amazing!!!

As you kind readers know, I love sandwiches made with toasted bread. Since that day I’ve been making a lot of panini. Different bread, different filling, always delicious.
So here is how to make proper panini without special tools or ingredients, courtesy of my friend N and her grandmother.


Three tips I observed

1. Toast bread until brown and crunchy around the edges. (But then, of course, you can toast your bread any way you like. To each their own.)

2. Press/crush panini with your hands. (I think it helps blend the flavors of the fillings. Also improves the texture: more dense, chewy, crunchy, and generally magnificent.)

3. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on both slices as well as the filling. (I happen to eat low-fat due to a hereditary condition, so I use less than 1g of olive oil per panino. Please take care of yourself.)









Toaster oven (or whatever you use to toast your bread such as a regular oven, a popup toaster, a griddle), knife (I use a serrated knife, but you do you)



・Two slices of bread
・Thinly-sliced tomato

・Olive oil



1. Toast bread.

2. While the bread is toasting, slice tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt.

3. Drizzle olive oil on one side of each toast, arrange tomato, sprinkle salt, and drizzle olive oil over tomato.

4. Place the palm of your hand on panini and crush it with your weight.

5. Using a knife, cut the bread diagonally into two triangles.


Panini photos

Tomato and chicken on machine bread with poppy seeds and nigella seeds

proper panini (6)


Pressing made the filling spill out. Not sure if this is a correct state of being for a panino.

proper panini (8)


Crispy edges make me feel slightly poignant. Everything is fleeting. Dig in!

proper panini (9)


Tomato, grilled eggplant, and parsley on machine bread. In the making.

proper panini (7)


I can only finish half a panino, so I usually toast one slice of bread and cut it into two triangles to make a sandwich.

proper panini (1)


Before pressing.

proper panini (5)


After pressing. (Way too much filling?)

proper panini (4)


My home-baked bread contains very little or no added sugar, so it doesn’t get the golden brown color of the Seven-Eleven bread, even when toasted the same way. But the burnt edges are lovely.

proper panini (3)

I like experimenting with different kinds of bread, and today I am off to get some sliced bread from my Seven-Eleven. Wonderful!

And next time, why don’t I use two slices instead of one, and wrap the uneaten half in a piece of paper for a picnic?

proper panini (2)

Bon appetit~

This post is dedicated to my friend N. Thank you.


Today’s Special

1日1新:新しいスニーカー2足、メーク用品 パンデミック後のクローゼット拡充に努めています。(今頃!?はい、そうなのです。我が家はパンデミックが落ちつくのが遅かったのです。これからぼちぼちですね)
1日1冊:Bessel van der Kolk「The Body Keeps the Score」続き。


~~ やり方~~
1.左側の Type your email.. と薄く文字が見える欄にメールアドレスを入力する。(メールアドレスを入力しはじめると、Type your email..の文字は自然に消えます)
2.右側の Subscribe ボタンを押せば完了。