Monday, January 21, 2013

Pear And Comte Panini With Walnut-Honey Paste

Pear And Comte Panini With Walnut-Honey Paste

Do you have a favorite food from childhood that you still fondly remember?  Mine would be grilled cheese and tomato soup.  It's hard to believe, but I was a picky eater as a very young child and this was, literally, the only meal I would eat for lunch.  And my mother would patiently prepare it each day. I still love this meal but the concept of a grilled sandwich has definitely evolved from 2 slices of buttered white wonder bread and a slice or two of American cheese. Enter the panini - rich with countless possibilities of what can coexist between two slices of bread. Maybe you prefer protein, cheese, fruits or vegetables - anything goes with  panini.  I like to make a few different varieties and cut them into quarters for sharing. While the classic version calls for ciabatta or a rustic loaf of fresh bread, we go for the healthier flour-less Ezekiel bread which contains sprouted whole grains. Today is panini day - consisting of  3 different varieties. I hope you'll try all three - each recipe can be halved or quartered so everyone can share and enjoy the variety.

Pear And Comte Panini With Walnut-Honey Paste

6 T diced walnuts 
6 T honey 
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices of bread {Ezekiel}
4 T olive oil
approximately 2 pears, cored and cut into thin wedges
8 oz Comte cheese
arugula

Note: Quantitiy of fruit will depend on the size of your bread slices.

Preheat your panini machine or two sided, indoor grill. To make the walnut paste, combine walnuts and honey in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil and place 4 slices in the machine/grill until golden. Remove and repeat with remaining 4 slices of bread. Remove from heat and layer the cheese, pears, and arugula, evenly divided on 4 slices of bread.  Spread the walnut paste on each of the remaining 4 slices of bread.  Place the slices of bread with the walnut spread face down on the other slices to create 4 closed sandwiches. Grill for another few minutes, until cheese has melted. Remove and serve immediately.
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Source:  Jill Crusenberry

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