What a cool little dinner! While others were grilling their hearts out during the weekend just past, we grilled a little, too—on a nonstick grill pan (we dined outdoors, however—on our new front porch). Those peaches from our trees found their way into a zany dish, Country Ham-and-Peach Panini.
In yesterday’s blog I mentioned more try-outs were down the road for the peach recipes I discovered in the newest Southern Living designed to help us further adore those jewels of the South. The panini (without ciabatta bread on hand I simply used some whole grain slices) features slices of ham and cheese with the trimmings of Dijon mustard, black pepper, and honey. I spread the exterior o the bread slices with olive oil and tossed the entire assembled sandwich onto my stovetop pan. Within minutes we were just in heaven as Hubby sat in his new front-porch rocker and I in my swing and had our dinner as we watched Memorial Day wind to a close in the cool of the evening.
The peaches softened as they grilled. Combined with the honey they were a sweet balance-off against the salty ham and mustard. Who knew the peach could find itself in such a clever presentation?
Country Ham-and-Peach Panini
8 ciabatta bread slices (or any firm white bread)
4 teaspoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper
4 (1-ounce) fontina cheese slices
4 ounces thinly sliced country ham, prosciutto, or Serrano ham (I used low-sodium ham from the deli)
2 medium peaches (abut 3/4 pound) unpeeled and sliced (I went a little overboard and used 4 peaches, peeled and diced finely)
4 teaspoons honey (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Spread each of 4 bread slices with 1 teaspoon mustard. Sprinkle with desired amount of freshly ground pepper. Layer with cheese, ham, peaches, and if desired, honey. Top with remaining bread slices. Press together gently. Brush sandwiches with olive oil. Cook sandwiches, in batches, in a preheated panini press 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. (Or use a preheated nonstick grill pan and cook sandwiches over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side.) Serve immediately. Makes 4 sandwiches (I cut mine in half). (Source: Southern Living June 2012)