Goat Cheese, Peach and Basil Panini
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Cold cuts, see ya later. This school year, we’re making a goat cheese, peach and basil panini on repeat. The recipe comes from Aviva Wittenberg’s new cookbook, Lunchbox, and it makes a good case for buying a panini pan (though you can use a grill pan if you don’t have one).
“Quick grilled sandwiches are not only delicious but incredibly versatile,” Wittenberg writes, “and, it turns out, very practical because they hold together in your lunchbox no matter how much you might throw your school bag around in the yard before going to the classroom for the day.”
It’s optional, but she suggests packing this sweet-and-savory sandwich with a fresh kohlrabi slaw for balance. (If you haven’t tried it, kohlrabi is a turnip that tastes like raw broccoli stems: sweet, crisp and a little peppery.) To make it, peel and grate a few bulbs of kohlrabi on the coarse side of a box grater until you have 2 cups, then toss with the juice of ½ a lime, 1 thinly sliced scallion, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds.
Lunch has never looked (or tasted) better.
Excerpted from Lunchbox by Aviva Wittenberg. Copyright © 2022 Aviva Wittenberg. Photography © 2022 Aviva Wittenberg. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
2 peaches, halved and pitted
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
4 slices pullman or other soft sandwich bread
Handful of fresh basil leaves (or 4 tablespoons basil pesto)
1. Preheat a panini pan or grill pan over medium-high heat.
2. While the pan is warming up, thinly slice the peaches. Spread the goat cheese on two slices of the bread and top with the peach slices. If using fresh basil, roughly chop it and divide it between the two sandwiches. If using pesto, spread it on the other two slices of bread and place atop the peaches and goat cheese.
3. Transfer the sandwiches to the panini pan and grill until the cheese has softened and there are dark caramel-brown grill marks on the bread, about 4 minutes per side.
4. Remove from the pan and cool before slicing and packing. The sandwiches can be popped into a toaster oven to be revived when needed, or eaten at room temperature.
Note: Pack this sandwich in an airtight container with some fresh fruit a quick and easy kohlrabi slaw (see headnote) for a lovely, light end-of-summer meal.