This is without a doubt my favorite spring panini! The sauce is the perfect complement to all of the ingredients, so don't make it without-it will not compare. This was a favorite at the cafe every spring-hopefully it will be one of yours, too!
24 stalks of medium fresh asparagus, woody stems removed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing on sandwiches
8 large slices sourdough bread
¾ cup real mayonnaise
Freshly-squeezed juice from half a large lemon
Lemon zest from a large lemon
1 ½ teaspoon stone ground mustard’
¼ teaspoon coarsely-ground fresh black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 ounces deli-style ham, thinly-sliced or shaved
8 slices Swiss
Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Place the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil then rub the asparagus with the oil. Roast in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until tender-crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the asparagus roasts, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, black pepper and Parmesan.
Lay the bread out on a counter or cutting board. Spread one side of each piece with the mayo mixture. Layer a slice of Swiss on four of the slices (break into pieces to fit, if needed) followed by 6 pieces of asparagus (alternate so tips show on both ends), ¼ of the ham, and another slice of cheese. Using a pastry brush, brush the sandwiches lightly on both sides with the vegetable oil.
Preheat a Panini grill to high. Place the sandwiches on the grill and close the grill. Grill until they are a deep golden brown and the cheese is melted all the way through the sandwich. Remove from grill and let sit for one minute, then cut in half and serve immediately.