Mushroom, Tomato & Iberico Panini

I was flipping through my monthly Cooking Light magazine and came across this recipe. If you like mushrooms and cheese, this recipe is a MUST. It’s super easy and super YUMMY. Sometimes, you just need a good sandwich or panini to munch on!

When I was at Trader Joe’s, I asked the guy there about Manchego cheese (originally what the recipe calls for).  Manchego cheese has a distinctive flavour, well developed but not too strong, creamy with a slight piquancy, and leaves an aftertaste that is characteristic of sheep’s milk. It is similar in taste to colby or a mild cheddar. I learned later that it melts well and is often used in quesadillas. . .  While at Trader Joe’s the guy told me Manchego cheese does not melt well so he suggested Iberico cheese, which is what I tried. Iberico cheese is a blend of cows’ and sheep’s milk, which gives this cheese its smooth flavor. It’s delicious!!! But next time, I will try the manchego.



  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 (4-ounce) packages presliced exotic mushroom blend (such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 8 (1 1/2-ounce) slices sourdough bread
  • 3 ounces Iberico cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • Tomatoes; sliced (I used Roma); optional


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add shallots and next 6 ingredients (through cremini mushrooms). Cook 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Add vinegar; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates.
  2. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly among four bread slices. Top evenly with Manchego cheese and remaining bread slices.
  3. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten. Cook sandwiches 2 minutes on each side or until cheese melts and bread is toasted (leave skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Rub the top and bottom of each sandwich with cut side of garlic clove.
  4. OR simply add some olive oil to your pan and lay the bread down, toasted each side. Add the cheese, tomatoes & mushroom mixture and the other bread slice on top, press gently to flatten and toast a little more.

When working with fresh thyme, you should tear just the leaves off and add

Open face shot with no tomatoes.

Recipe from: Cooking Light; click here.
MARCH 2012


2 thoughts on “Mushroom, Tomato & Iberico Panini

  1. Pingback: Open-Faced Mushroom, Tomato & Manchego Panini | Hip Foodie Mom

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