turkey and pear paninis

the title of this recipe sounds really uninspired, but i promise you, the finished product is anything but. the spread for this is sweet and tangy, and the combo of filings is ooey gooey and crisp at the same time. i served this alongside a nice crisp salad and it was a satisfying meal.

i made fritz his standard dinner of purees (his favorite combos even!) but he wanted nothing to do with them and wasn’t happy until i shared my panini with him, piece by excruciatingly tiny piece. he really enjoyed the sandwich—the “nums” were in full effect. i think part of it was that he really likes eating off of my fork, which makes him feel like such a big boy. i’m just proud of him for having such an expansive palate at such a tender age.

turkey and pear panini

  • 6 slices whole grain sandwich bread (we use arnold’s)
  • 1/4# shaved deli turkey
  • one ball fresh mozzarella cheese (approximately 4-6 ounces)
  • one bartlett pear
  • 2 tablespoons honey (we use clover)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground dijon mustard
  • 1 scant teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil (preferably in a spritzer)

mix the honey, mustard, and balsamic in a small bowl until well combined, then set aside.

prepare a panini press (or a grill pan or regular non-stick pan). our panini press has a “sandwich” setting (truly foolproof), but if you are using a grill pan or regular pan, set it to medium high heat.

slice the mozzarella into 6 even slices (two per sandwich). if you have trouble slicing it, try putting it in the freezer for a few minutes first. you can also use a serrated knife, which will help. core and slice the pear into thin pieces. i have a handy olive oil spritzer (you can actually fill it with any oil, but i use olive oil) and it is a wonderful little invention. if you don’t have this i would recommend either very lightly drizzling the oil onto the bread or drizzling it onto the pan and spreading it around with a brush or paper towel. (you want the bread to crisp, but we aren’t looking to deep fry it)

anyway, spritz the outsides of the bread with olive oil or use preferred method. then, evenly spread the honey mustard onto the insides of the bread and layer the mozzarella, the turkey, the pear, and top with the other slices of bread. place them onto the press or pan. you will want to cook these until the cheese is ooey gooey and the outside of the bread is nice and browned.

notes: i knew i was going to like this sandwich because the flavors are ones that i really love. i wasn’t prepared for how much i’d love it though. i know you will as well!

that’s fritz eschewing his planned dinner for teeny bites of mama’s panini. such a little gourmand…

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