Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Apple with Basil Butter
Hot Melted Sandwiches. I just can't get enough of the combination of crispy bread, soft melted cheese and a delicious spread. The most common variety is Grilled Cheese but with the panini press has come countless other pressed and hot melted sandwich options. I've seen a Fig and Brie Panini, Mortadella and Cheese, Pressed Tuna Melt, Ham and Gruyere Panino and varieties too many to name at different cafes and restaurants I've visited.
One of my favourite sandwich fillers is prosciutto. My wife and I love dry-cured ham and I almost always grab it for the house whenever I'm out shopping. It has a natural saltiness and a buttery texture and the rich flavour is perfect on a pressed hot sandwich. I particularly like it with brie but also like the tart flavour that goat cheese has to offer. Crisp and sour and slightly bitter Granny Smith apples is perfect with both the salty ham and the tartness of goat cheese which softens when exposed to the heat of a panini. I also use basil here and mix it with butter for a spread that has both a sweet and pungent aroma and carries well with the cheese.
The resulting sandwich is fantastic! I have a strong feeling that my wife will want this substituted for future weekend lunch meals. I know I won't complain because nothing is easier on a weekend at lunch or weeknight for dinner than throwing some terrific flavours on some fresh baked bread and grilling it on a panini press until you have a hot melted sandwich. Yum!
Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Apple with Basil Butter Panini
4 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
2 tbsp. basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Grainy mustard
4 Ciabatta rolls
3/4 lb. Prosciutto, thinly sliced
4 tbsp. Goat Cheese
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil for brushing
1. In a small bowl mix 4 tablespoons of butter until creamy and smooth and stir in the basil, lemon juice and grainy mustard until well mixed.
2. Preheat Panini press. Spread the basil butter on the cut part of the rolls. Lay the prosciutto on the bottom halves and top with cheddar cheese and the apple slices and close up the sandwiches. Brush the outside of the rolls with olive oil.
3. Place on the Panini grill and close. Cook until toasted and the cheese has melted. Cut in half and serve.