Toast, Greek Grilled Sandwiches, and Potato Salad

Grilled sandwich. Photo: (24 WA GN 24 via Wikimedia Commons)

As the temperatures warm up, most home cooks try to limit their time in a hot kitchen over a hot stove. Simpler recipes offer a great way to limit kitchen time as summer heats up while still reminding us of the classic tastes of Greece. Grilled sandwiches or panini are a delicious way to transform a basic sandwich into a tasty, culinary experience. Simple meats and cheeses on bread are not a new phenomenon, but grilled using a panini press, stovetop or outdoor grill, a frying pan, or even a waffle iron, creates a warm, melty taste sensation everyone will enjoy. In Greece, grilled sandwiches, or toast, as they are known, are served for breakfast and throughout the day as a snack. Try the following Greek-inspired grilled sandwich or use your own favorite fillings for a more personalized taste along with the potato salad recipe also included below.

Greek Grilled Sandwiches

Bread, of your choice, sliced
Ham, turkey or a mixture of both, or your favorite deli meat, sliced
Kasseri, kefolgraviera, feta, or the cheese of your choice
Thinly sliced tomatoes (optional)

Preheat your panini press, grill, frying pan, or waffle iron, season if needed. Each sandwich will need two slices of bread, 2-3 slices of ham or turkey or the deli meat of your choice, 2 slices of the cheese of your choice, and 2 slices of tomatoes, if using, or more depending on their size of the tomatoes. Be careful not to overload the sandwich – too much cheese will melt and ooze everywhere, and too much filling won’t heat all the way through. There should be a balance of ingredients. When the panini press, grill, pan, or waffle iron is hot enough, place the sandwich, or sandwiches. Depending on the size of your sliced bread and your grill, you may be able to fit more than one sandwich on at a time. If using a grill, or frying pan, check for a golden brown color on one side before flipping to grill on the other side. If using a panini press or waffle iron, follow the manufacturer’s directions for grilling your sandwich. Be careful when removing from the hot press, grill, or pan – the sandwich will be scorching hot. Allow it to cool slightly on a plate for a few minutes before serving. The grilled sandwiches may be served on their own or with a side salad.

Potato Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil

Potato Salad. Photo: (KaMan via Wikimedia Commons)

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
4-6 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 scallions, thinly sliced, included green part

Rinse the potatoes, place in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat; cover and simmer until tender. In a mixing bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the scallions and the dressing and mix until the dressing is evenly distributed throughout the salad. Serve warm.

As the temperatures warm up, most home cooks try to limit their time in a hot kitchen over a hot stove. Simpler recipes offer a great way to limit kitchen time as summer heats up while still reminding us of the classic tastes of Greece. Grilled sandwiches or panini are a delicious way to transform a basic sandwich into a tasty, culinary experience. Simple meats and cheeses on bread are not a new phenomenon, but grilled using a panini press, stovetop or outdoor grill, a frying pan, or even a waffle iron, creates a warm, melty taste sensation everyone will enjoy. In Greece, grilled sandwiches, or toast, as they are known, are served for breakfast and throughout the day as a snack. Try the following Greek-inspired grilled sandwich or use your own favorite fillings for a more personalized taste along with the potato salad recipe also included below.

Greek Grilled Sandwiches

Bread, of your choice, sliced
Ham, turkey or a mixture of both, or your favorite deli meat, sliced
Kasseri, kefolgraviera, feta, or the cheese of your choice
Thinly sliced tomatoes (optional)

Preheat your panini press, grill, frying pan, or waffle iron, season if needed. Each sandwich will need two slices of bread, 2-3 slices of ham or turkey or the deli meat of your choice, 2 slices of the cheese of your choice, and 2 slices of tomatoes, if using, or more depending on their size of the tomatoes. Be careful not to overload the sandwich – too much cheese will melt and ooze everywhere, and too much filling won’t heat all the way through. There should be a balance of ingredients. When the panini press, grill, pan, or waffle iron is hot enough, place the sandwich, or sandwiches. Depending on the size of your sliced bread and your grill, you may be able to fit more than one sandwich on at a time. If using a grill, or frying pan, check for a golden brown color on one side before flipping to grill on the other side. If using a panini press or waffle iron, follow the manufacturer’s directions for grilling your sandwich. Be careful when removing from the hot press, grill, or pan – the sandwich will be scorching hot. Allow it to cool slightly on a plate for a few minutes before serving. The grilled sandwiches may be served on their own or with a side salad.

Potato Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
4-6 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 scallions, thinly sliced, included green part

Rinse the potatoes, place in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat; cover and simmer until tender. In a mixing bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the scallions and the dressing and mix until the dressing is evenly distributed throughout the salad. Serve warm.