The average Pret lunch costs £4.55. That’s roughly the same price as four homemade Paninis with mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil from your average supermarket (and even cheaper if you shop at a Lidl or Aldi, too). Rather than standing in line and paying through the nose, you could make the same thing for a fraction of the price and still get the same quality. And, if you have a grill, sandwich toaster or even just toastie bags, it takes hardly any time at all.
You don’t really even need any special equipment, either. This recipe for making a pan-fried toastie can be adapted for all the fillings below. So, there is no excuse for boring toasties, or expensive paninis. Here are some ideas to get started with.
Cheddar and Red Onion Marmalade Toastie
If you can’t bear to part with the good old cheese toastie, try this for a slightly sophisticated change. Onion marmalades, chutneys and the like can be found in most supermarkets for a reasonable price, and add some tang to your average cheese toastie. Simply spread one side of your toastie thinly but evenly with the onion mixture before cooking. Great with seeded bread.
Feta and Apricot Panini
Cheese and fruit have long been paired up on cheeseboards, so why not in toasties? Slice a panini roll in half and crumble feta cheese on one side. Chop 2-3 dried apricots (or use a thin spread of apricot jam) and sprinkle on top. Place the other half on top and toast until golden. Add roasted peppers for extra flavour.
Tuna and Avocado Toastie
If you’re not a huge fan or fruit or veg, this filling could be an ideal way to get some of those all-important vitamins into your diet. Unlike other fruit and veg, avocados are soft and tend to pick up the flavour of whatever you mix in with them. Simply mash a ripe avocado with some drained, line-caught tuna and spread onto your bread of choice. You could add salsa, cheese or chilli (or all three).
Hummus, Olive and Sundried Tomato Panini
If you have a hummus addiction this one is for you. Spread one half of your panini roll liberally with hummus – any type or flavour you want – then top with chopped olives and sundried tomatoes. Toast on both sides until golden. Serve with mint yoghurt, tabbouleh, or some salad leaves.
Peanut Butter and Banana Toastie
When revision is getting you down, or you have early exam that will require some serious brain power, this is what you need. Spread one piece of bread with peanut butter (but not too much) and slice one banana into rounds. Place the banana pieces onto the bread, then top with the other slice. Cook and serve with a cup of something caffeinated.
For more delicious student-friendly recipes, check out The Fresh Fresher.