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Prosciutto & Pear Panini

October 20, 2009

I’m one of those people that subscribe to several food magazines, in spite of the fact that I realize I can get the majority of recipes online. I have a giant basket full of magazines–it’s like my shelf full of cookbooks. I’m not getting rid of either any time soon.

A couple years ago, Cooking Light Magazine featured the recipe for a Prosciutto and Pear Panini, and I am sad to admit that I’m just now getting around to making it. This panini merges the savory of the prosciutto with the sweet of the pear. It has a flavor and texture that you don’t necessarily expect, but the prosciutto and pear compliment each other nicely.

Pear, Pecorino, & Prosciutto Panini

From Cooking Light Magazine

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1  firm, ripe pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges

1/2  teaspoon  sugar

1  loaf focaccia, cut in half horizontally

4  teaspoons  balsamic vinegar

1  cup  trimmed arugula

1/2  cup  fresh pecorino Romano cheese, shaved

16  very thin slices prosciutto

Directions:

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pear to pan, and sprinkle with sugar. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden.

Brush cut sides of bread with vinegar. Arrange pear slices, arugula, cheese, and prosciutto evenly over bottom half of bread; cover with top half of bread.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add stuffed loaf to pan. Place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of stuffed loaf; press gently to flatten. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on stuffed loaf while it cooks). Cut into quarters.

IMG_1346

My (slight) alterations:

I sauted the prosciutto until slightly crispy before cooking the pears. I didn’t have any arugula or pecorino cheese in the house, so I skipped the arugula altogether and substituted Parmesan cheese for the pecorino. Instead of toasting the bread in a skillet, I used our panini machine and cooked for 4 minutes total.

Don’t forget about the Challenge: Since I will be posting about Spaghetti Squash on Friday, whoever can correctly identify why it’s called “spaghetti” squash before I post on Friday will receive a prize.

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