Usually it's my husband that makes the best panini in town, but I don't know if he can beat me on this one!
I say that it's the bread that makes a good panino and he says it's the filling. I can agree with him in part, and only because he never disappoints me, but it's also true that, the bread maker, right here, always has a good homemade bread in the cupboard and this itself, contributes a great deal with his good panino making :))
You can definitely eat a panino with any filling that pleases you but if the bread is insipid, it will, all in all, ruin the panino even if filled with the tastiest of fillings. You will find yourself toasting the bread or smothering too much unnecessary flavours and still, it won't be like a panino with good fresh, possibly homemade, bread.
If, on the other hand, you start with the right bread, you really don't need much to turn it into a great panino because the taste is already there. Take this black squid ink bread for instance. Unlike what you would think, the squid ink won't predominate, yet it releases a delicate fish after-taste, almost unperceivable, enough to give an idea. Enough of an idea to pair it with fish as an unquestionable, if not, a perfect combination. Only this makes my fantasy run wild and as I write, many more ideas come to my mind, I can see tuna, crabmeat, shrimp patties, caviar ... or spicy hot octopus with tomato fillets.
Today my choice is a black squid ink panino with smoked salmon, a light spread of butter, some fresh greens and a dill pickle.
The bread recipe is here with the addition of 60gr squid ink.
*The photos where you see my hands rolling and polling were taken by my sister. I forced her, she had no choice, but I think she did a good job. Don't you think so? :)))