A couple of years ago my mom sent me a panini press for Christmas. It's one of those bulky kitchen items that takes up a lot of space and has a specialized use that means it's frustrating to find a home for in tiny NYC kitchens. I stowed it away in that little cupboard above the fridge, effectively forgetting about it since then.
Until I started trying to come up with dinner ideas in the past couple of weeks that would allow me to not turn on the oven at all. We're back around at the hot part of the summer where any oven time means the whole apartment turns miserable. Though usually a salad or cold dish can be refreshing, every once in a while you would still like something warm served up. The panini press came down.
I pulled together a bunch of ingredients on a catering shopping trip to Trader Joes: fresh figs (which I hardly ever see anywhere around here!), goat cheese, Italian bread. Then I made a trip over to Bklyn Larder and added some prosciutto and chestnut honey to the mix. Dinner was born.
With the combination of salty and sweet all pressed and melted together by the goat cheese in the panini maker, the meal was a success. Next time around I'll probably throw some arugula into the mix to add a hint of brightness. For a quick, delicious summer meal look no further.
Fig and Prosciutto Panini
fresh figs, sliced
goat cheese, crumbled
prosciutto, thinly sliced
Italian bread, cut into slices about 3/4" thick
Heat the panini press as you prepare the sandwiches.
Spread a nice layer of goat cheese onto a slice of Italian bread. Top with a layer of sliced figs. Drizzle a light amount of chestnut honey on top. Then top with a good quantity of prosciutto. Place another slice of Italian bread on top. Repeat for as many sandwiches as you would like
Place the sandwich into the panini press when it is hot. Place a sturdy amount of pressure on the handle and cook until the bread is lightly toasted and the sandwich is nice and thin. Serve immediately.