Yesterday was very cold and very wet. The good news is that inside our house, the fire was crackling and the kitchen was busy. I recently caught an episode of Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Lunches where she made delicious Taleggio and Pear Paninis. In my mind, I would make the sandwiches, throw it in my bag, go for a bike ride and have a picnic by the beach. Well, this plan obviously has to wait. But because patience is and probably never will be my strongest suit - even though I already had cooked dinner (chilean sea bass with garlic french fingerling potatoes and spinach pasta) - I just really wanted to make it anyway. So I turned Giada's paninis into appetizers and added chocolate nibs and walnuts. The nibs do an amazing trick of bringing out the saltiness of the taleggio and the sweetness of the peaches while adding texture.
For the recipe, read more:
- 1/4 loaf ciabatta bread cut into 2x2 squares
- olive oil
- 4 ounces Taleggio cheese or brie, sliced
- 2 large peaches, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Pinch salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chocolate nibs
- 2 tablespoons crushed walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
The original recipes calls for a panini machine, but I used my oven instead. Cut a quarter of the ciabatta loaf and halve it horizontally. Slice the loaf into bite size 2x2 squares. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil and place the bottom-half of the bread slices in the oven. Heat until golden, about 4 minutes.
Divide the cheese among the warm bread. Cover the cheese with slices of fruit. Sprinkle with walnuts and chocolate nibs. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Pairs very well with a glass of cabernet.
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