Everyone has their own comfort food preferences. Some people cry about a bad breakup over a pint of ice cream and an episode of Real Housewives. During finals, FoCo is full of students psychotically double-fisting pizza and chocolate chip cookies. One of my friends can’t deal with life without half of a grilled cheese sandwich and one chicken nugget, eaten sneakily out of a mug. A girl once told me that she secretly draws comfort from a plate of plain Brussel sprouts. No judgement, but I’ll pray for you, demon woman.


Photo by Tarika Narain

This week, I was especially in need of a lil’ TLC when I found out that my parents had embarked on a wine-tasting trip to central Italy, and my invite had somehow gotten lost in the mail (first world problems can still hurt, okay?). Luckily, my personal go-to comfort food is the glorious, originally Italian creation that is the caprese panini. As my parents plied me with daily photographs of gorgeous landscapes and even more gorgeous food, this sandwich did quite a lot to ease the pain. But I’m still pretty bitter.


Photo by Tarika Narain

The caprese is the simple, supposed salad-that-you’re-still-not-really-sure-is-a-salad due to the lack of any actual greens, but who are you to argue with the wisdom of the Italians? Grill it between a couple slices of bread and it’s especially not a salad. So basically, even better.


Photo by Tarika Narain

You can really pick your own adventure with this one: if you’re a meat-lover, add a few slices of prosciutto or chicken; switch up the bread (I chose garlic parmesan, but it goes great with ciabatta or classic whole wheat); you can even add a dash of balsamic vinegar if you feel like getting fancy, Iggy Azalea-style.


Photo by Tarika Narain



Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1 (You’re gonna wanna eat this one all by yourself, I promise.)


Photo by Tarika Narain


2 slices Klinger’s Bread Company roasted garlic parmesan bread
1 tomato, sliced into circular pieces
3 slices fresh mozzarella
2-3 tablespoons pesto
A dash of balsamic vinegar (optional)


Photo by Tarika Narain


1. Preheat your panini press to medium heat.

2. Spread your pesto generously over one slice of bread.

3. Layer your mozzarella slices as neatly as possible on the other slice of bread.

4. Layer 3-4 tomato slices on top of the mozzarella.
Optional: Sprinkle a little balsamic vinegar on top with a teaspoon.

5. Assemble your sandwich.
Tip: If you don’t want to clean up an oozing-cheese mess, try to err on the neater side with the assembly of this sandwich. This coming from the girl who sees no point in making her bed if it’s just going to get messed up anyway, but clean panini artistry definitely has its benefits.

6. Pop your creation in the panini press for 5 minutes (this depends on how melted you want your cheese), and voila!

7. Drown all your sorrows in this hot, cheesy fantasy.


Photo by Tarika Narain

Want more panini ideas? Check out last week’s Red, Wheat and Blue panini recipe.