Panini are the upscale Italian cousins to the average Joe grilled cheese sandwich, and these panini, made with pear and prosciutto are a perfect match with creamy soups. Feel free to mix up the cheese; I like to add a generous grind of pepper on top of the pears before topping too. You can use any type of pear you like, but Anjou pear’s sweet, citrusy tang pairs well with the goat cheese. If your pears don’t yield slightly to a squeeze, ripen them on the counter for a few days.
Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 sandwich
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 slices whole grain sandwich bread
2 ounces creamy goat cheese
1 medium Anjou pear, halved, cored, and thinly sliced lengthwise
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook prosciutto 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel.
Spread mustard on one side of all 4 slices of bread. Spread goat cheese on 2 slices. Add a layer of pear and prosciutto on top of the goat cheese and top with the other slices of bread (mustard-side down). Press down lightly with your palm to seal sandwiches.
Lightly coat both sides of sandwiches with cooking spray.
Wipe out the skillet you used for the prosciutto and heat over medium heat. Toast sandwiches 4 to 5 minutes per side, pressing down with the spatula, until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted.
Slice sandwiches in half and serve.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes