Olympic Panini

The Olympics are in full swing, and no doubt, many of you have been tuning in to catch some of the action on television.

Of course, it would quite exciting to be there in person (there are more than 350,000 spectators from 80 countries), not only to watch the outstanding sports performances but also to try some of the food at the many venues.

We all know that’s hardly possible, but I’m offering readers a chance to view their favorite atheletes during the games while at the same time enjoying a healthy treat that’s being served at the Ontario Pavilion in Vancouver, B.C.

The following panini recipe comes from Woolrich Dairy, a family-owned goat cheese company with facilities in Canada and the U.S. Woolrich, one of the sponsors of the games, is providing more than 330 pounds of fresh unripened goat cheese for the recipe, which is available at the pavilion, located in close proximity to the Athletes Village and Canada Hockey Place.

Sounds like it’s the next best thing to being there.

Chicken Goat Cheese Panini
¼ cup Chevrai unripened goat cheese, softened
¼ cup fresh Ricotta cheese
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tomato, sliced
2 focaccia buns, sliced in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cooked or grilled boneless chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup baby spinach leaves
¼ cup shavings of Parmesan
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, blend goat cheese with ricotta and Italian seasoning.
Place tomato slices on hot grill to slightly char; set aside. Brush one side of each focaccia slice with olive oil. Place 2 focaccia slices oil side down on work surface covered with waxed paper and divide goat cheese mixture, chicken, spinach, tomatoes and Parmesan between each. Sprinkle with pepper and top with remaining focaccia halves, oiled side up, gently pressing to pack.
Place sandwiches in grill, close the top plate and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Yield: 2 sandwiches.