Up Your Sandwich Game with a Cordless Panini Press
Photo: Lagostina USA
Product reviewed: Lagostina Nera Panini Pan & Cast Iron Press
At my house we love paninis, grilled cheese sandwiches, toasted English muffins — you name it. When I received the Lagostina Nera Panini Pan & Cast Iron Press for review, and learned it is used on the stove top and not electric, as I was used to, I was skeptical. But after trying out the press, I am transformed.
How It Works
The Lagostina Nera Panini Pan & Cast Iron Press is a stove-top appliance with two separate parts — a hard, anodized aluminum bottom pan and the heavy, cast-iron press — each with a sleek chromium-finished handle. The weight difference is strategic and practical; the lid must be heavy enough to press down the paninis for cooking, while the skillet is lightweight enough to make the whole product easier to use. There is no assembly required.
Due to the size of the panini press, I had to use the biggest heat source on the stove. The pan was warm and ready to go in a couple of minutes. I did a first-run on it by making Turkey Pastrami Paninis (recipe below). It took a total of seven minutes, and the paninis were warm and toasty, like something from an Italian deli, but quickly and easily made in my own kitchen.
Since using the Nera Panini Pan I have retired not only my electric panini press, freeing up some much-needed counter space, but also my toaster. The Nera kitchen tool has proven to be a great toaster for English muffins and toast, and it makes beautiful toast lines without creating a mess of crumbs on my countertop.
Cleaning up the panini press and pan also was very easy — no pieces to take apart or hard-to-reach areas to scrub. And the non-stick anodized surface made cleaning even melted cheese easy.
In summary, this is a high-quality, versatile product that is easy to use and helps make delicious, nutritious meals in minutes. It saves valuable counter space by doing the job of both a toaster and an electric panini press, and clean-up is easy. What more could you ask for?
Turkey Pastrami Panini
- 8 slices sprouted 100% whole-wheat bread
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 8 slices turkey pastrami
- 1 sliced tomato
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- Warm Nera Panini Pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
- Arrange 4 slices of bread in the skillet and top with cheese, turkey and remaining bread.
- Place cast iron press on top of paninis and warm for 4 minutes.
- Once the cheese begins to sizzle, remove press, flip paninis , replace the press and toast for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from the pan and tuck fresh tomatoes and spinach into paninis. Enjoy!
Sarene Alsharif, MPH, is a nutrition educator based in Rockford, Ill. Her Healthy Plate 5 program educates children, families and individuals. Read her blog, Healthy Plate 5, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.