Okay, Okay, Here's the Recipe for Michael Howell's Award Winning Grilled Cheese Sandwich

After receiving countless e-mails on the recipe for Michael Howell's sandwich, I was able to track down the recipe. I found it on a Nova Scotia Blog called Loopy Lair: Home of the Laughingwolf. Here's the address: http://laughing1wolf.blogspot.com/2010/09/canadas-best-grilled-cheese-recipe.html
Panini Toscano
Award-winning Panini Toscano by Chef Michael Howell.
Photo courtesy Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Panini Toscano
By Chef Michael Howell

1 fresh ciabatta bun, about 5“ (12cm) square
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon aioli
1 ripe fig cut into 4-5 slices
2 slices of Parma prosciutto thinly shaved
2 slices 1 oz (30g) each Canadian Havarti cheese, 1/8“ (2mm ) thick
1 oz (30g) fresh baby arugula
½ roasted red pepper, peeled & cut into ¾“ (2 cm) slices
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinaigrette

Lemon Aioli Ingredients
¼ cup (60 mL) prepared olive oil mayonnaise
Juice and zest from ½ a lemon
1 clove garlic

Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients
1 tsp (5 ml) balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
½ tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

Preparation & Cooking
Mix aioli ingredients together and let flavours mingle for ½ an hour.

Split the fresh ciabatta in ½ and brush both sides liberally with the lemon aioli.

Layer one slice of havarti cheese on the bottom of the bun, then top with the sliced figs, prosciutto, couple sprigs of arugula and finish with other slice of cheese.

Top with the other side of the bun, place in a pre-heated panini press and grill until cheese is melting and bread is lightly marked.

If using a grill or barbeque, place a weight on top of sandwich and flip halfway through cooking.

While sandwich is grilling, make vinaigrette by combining first five ingredients in a small bowl.

Slowly whisk in oil until incorporated.

In other small bowl, dress arugula with 1 tbsp of vinaigrette and place on a plate.

Toss two slices of red pepper in same bowl to dress lightly and place on top of salad.

When sandwich is ready, remove from press and split in ½ diagonally.

Place around salad and serve immediately.

Lightly brush the bun on both sides with extra virgin olive oil and if using a grill or bbq place a weight on top of sandwich and flip ½ way through cooking.

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