A Simple Dinner From Your Pantry

FoodLunch & DinnerA Simple Dinner From Your Pantry

A Simple Dinner From Your Pantry

Close-up of vegetarian panini with tomatoes and mozzarella

Do you ever spend thirty minutes standing, staring at the kitchen cupboard, wondering what to make for a simple dinner? How many times have you uttered the words “…if only I had bought…”? How many (of what should have been) simple weeknight dinners have turned into take-away or peanut butter sandwiches,  because you were missing even just one key ingredient?

That is where a lesson in keeping your pantry stocked is in order.

When we were young and single, this meant keeping the kitchen stocked with wine, beer, rice and (of course) some kind of seed or nut butter. As we’ve matured and our palates have become more experienced we may still insist on those as somewhat essential, but the list has grown quite a bit along with us.

Certain staples like extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar are obvious. Good-quality canned whole tomatoes, every kind of bean available, quinoa and sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil are next on the list of must-haves for many. Recently added to our list are canned salmon, jarred artichokes and roasted red peppers, which are definite dinner-savers. The fridge is another place that needs to stay well-stocked. And we’re not talking wine and beer, either (though those are important). Fresh olives, a hunk of parmesan cheese, some grainy mustard and of course, when possible, fresh tomatoes and spinach are necessary.

A lesson in the necessities of a well-stocked pantry and fridge, these simple grilled sandwiches are hearty and delicious. Who ever would have thought combining cheese with salmon would taste so amazing…?

Salmon-Artichoke Panini Sandwiches


  • 1 can salmon
  • 1 6-ounce jar olive oil packed artichokes, drained and chopped coarsely
  • 1/8 cup sliced roasted red peppers
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt & Ppepper
  • 1/2 head roasted garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 slices light rye bread
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil for grilling


  1. Combine the salmon (drained) with the drained, chopped artichokes, red peppers, olives, lemon zest, oregano, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the roasted garlic with the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon juice and a little bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the garlic mayonnaise on all four slices of bread, top two slices with provolone, then the tuna-artichoke mixture, then tomato slices and then mozzarella. Top with another slice of rye bread.
  4. Preheat a panini grill, barbecue or cast iron skillet. Brush tops of both sandwiches with olive oil and flipping that side down, place on the grill. Brush what are now the tops of both sandwiches with more olive oil and close grill or wait to flip once bottom is browned. Sandwiches are done when bread is browned and cheese is melted.
  5. Slice on an angle and serve.

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