This Bell Pepper Sandwich is breadless and incredibly delicious. It's essentially ham and cheese panini with peppers in lieu of bread, making it both unique and gluten-free. And it's huge crowd pleaser.
4ouncesapplewood smoked ham (or your favorite ham),thinly sliced
½cuppacked arugula leaves,washed and dried
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the peppers. Slice about ½ inch off the tops and bottoms of the peppers, including the stems. Then use a paring knife to remove the seeds and membranes. You should be left with an intact pepper, with a fairly smooth inside surface and no top or bottom.Then make one slit, vertically, down each side of the pepper, that only goes about halfway thorough the flesh. This makes it easier to fold while in the panini press or on a stove-top grill or griddle. (It's not essential to do this step.)
Assemble. Spread the inside of each of the peppers with about 1 tablespoon of the mustard, coating the entire surface. Then place about ¼ of the cheese slices on the bottom of each one. Follow the cheese with about ½ ham and ½ arugula. Then add the remaining cheese slices.
GRILLWith a panini press: Preheat the press, and once it's ready -- most have a green light that'll go on, much like a waffle maker -- drizzle the bottom plate lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place one or both filled peppers on top, depending on the amount of space. Drizzle the tops with a bit more olive oil and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Close the press to grill. Most presses will take about 5 minutes. I lift the lid a bit when I think it's getting close to check. The peppers should be nicely marked from the grill, and they should be (about 50%) softer than when they went in. With a stove-top grill or griddle. Instead of closing the press, use a flat-bottomed, metal spatula to press down on the sandwich. Once the bottom is golden, very carefully flip the peppers and cook the other side, still pressing down with the spatula, until the cheese is melting and bottom is golden. (Kitchen tongs might be helpful for flipping, in addition to the spatula.)