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Pesto, Smoked Gouda and Apple Paninis

Some great ideas just come to you... like this panini for example. Years ago, my husband asked me to make a panini for him, and this beautiful gem came to light! (Sure the average person probably thinks meat, cheese, bread, maybe a tomato or two. But my brain is an exceptional one. Maybe not so much exceptional, as it enjoys over complicating things. And while that may make navigating my life difficult for me, it means that you get the tasty treats grown out of my neurotic food loving brain. You're welcome.)

In addition to its scrumptious nature, it is so easy and simple, but also packs a punch of flavors that somehow come together perfectly. I am talking nutty pesto, sweet and tart honey crisp apples, smoked turkey, dried cranberries, smoked Gouda and mozzarella; all pressed together on buttery, crispy bread. There is nothing not to like about this savory and sweet panini. From melted ooey gooey cheeses to crunchy tart apples, this panini will have you singing Marvin Gaye's "Lets Get it on" to a sandwich. Don't fret though friends, I won't have you transition from serenading food to having a Jason Biggs American Pie moment. I swear!

Now that we have gotten that visual out of the way, lets move on to more pleasant things.


Palate Cleanser... Literally and Figuratively

Doesn't that look delicious, simple and super duper craveable? I know, right?!?! There is no fancy foot (or finger) work on this either. It also makes great left overs. If you can, slice, dice, and follow my pesto recipe, you are good and set. It really is as simple as it is tasty. I do not have anything particularly clever to say. And since my first introduction tangent had to do with molesting a classic American dessert, I say I shut up and get to the food. Am I right?


1 loaf sliced sourdough bread

1-2 honey crisp apples (Granny Smith if you can't find Honey Crisp)

3 tbsp mayonaise

1 cup dried cranberries (give or take)

1 package of turkey lunch meat 8 oz smoked gouda

8-10 thing slices of mozzerella

butter for bread panini press (preferred but not necessary... But I use mine all the time. It has waffle iron plates and more!)


1. Make the pesto ahead of time and mix it to desired ratio with some mayonnaise. I like to use 2/3 pesto to 1/3 mayo. You will probably want about 2/3 - 3/4 cups mix total. I always have this pesto on me. It will store in the fridge for 2 weeks and is great for sandwiches, pastas, meats, veggies, eggs and so much more!

2. Heat up your panini press, or a griddle top.

3. Spread butter on one side of the bread. (My press fits 3 sandwiches at a time. So I would spread butter on 6 pieces of bread to start.)

4. Spread the pesto mayonnaise on the other side of the bread.

5. Add sliced smoked Gouda to one piece of bread, and the sliced mozzarella to the other.

6. Add thinly sliced apples to one side, and roughly 1 tbsp of Craisins to the other side.

7. Depending on how much cheese you have and/or want, you can add more to the middle along with 2-3 slices of deli turkey.

8. Close the bread, and add it to the panini press. If you are not using a press, the panini will be better if you put pressure on it for more of a panini feel. Assuming you are using a panini press, keep closed, on medium high heat for 6-8 minutes or until melted and golden brown.

That is all my friends. Go make this, eat it and thank me.


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