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Pepper Jack & Peach Panino

I promise the alliteration in the title was wholly unintended! I was inspired by the recipe for Pepper Jack, Chicken, and Peach Quesadillas in this month’s issue of Cooking Light, but was in the mood for a vegetarian sandwich version. Make that a pressed sandwich version. Every time I make a panini (or, I guess the singular is panino?), I am reminded of just how much I love the crisp exterior and gooey, melty interior that results from heating a sandwich in a panini press.

This particular panino was no exception. This panino was, in fact, absolutely divine. Let’s start with the sweet & spicy flavor combination, shall we? As you take a bite, you simultaneously experience the heat from the jalapeno-studded cheese hitting the back of your throat and the sweetness of the peach slices filling the rest of your mouth with its juicy nectar. Then there’s the textural appeal of the panino, which is pretty darn close to perfection. Your teeth first crunch through the crispy bread before sinking into the soft peaches and creamy melted cheese. Heaven, I tell you.

Have I successfully whetted your appetite with that description? If not, take a few moments to meditate on the photo above and I guarantee you won’t be able to get this panino off your mind!

Pepper Jack & Peach Panino

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices rustic whole wheat bread, baguette, or ciabatta (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane)
  • 2 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese, such as Sargento
  • 1 ripe but firm peach, preferably organic, pitted (peeled if desired) and thinly sliced
  • non-hydrogenated margarine or butter, at room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat panini press or skillet over medium heat.
  2. Layer the cheese and peaches between the slices of bread. Spread a thin layer or margarine or butter on outer sides of each slice of bread.
  3. Place assembled sandwich into the panini press or hot skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp, turning halfway through if using a skillet.

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