In the coldest month of the year, we are taking the freedom to break out those simple and delicious recipes for warming up the body and soul. Aimee Broussard’s easy panini combines an array of melty cheeses and pesto with bacon and turkey for some added flair. While this is not your typical grilled cheese, a classic tomato soup pairing is the perfect complement for a chilly-day meal.
THREE-CHEESE PESTO PANINIS
8 slices bacon, cut in half
Brioche bread, cut into 8 slices
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 tsp. basil pesto
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 slices Asiago cheese
4 slices Colby/Monterey Jack blend cheese
1 cup cooked turkey, cut into pieces
Fresh basil (optional)
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, turning occasionally, until crisp. Transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel, and drain.
Assemble sandwiches: butter outside of each Brioche slice and place bottom half on a cutting board or work surface. Spread inner, cut sides with basil pesto. Top 4 bread slices with ½ slice each of mozzarella, Asiago and Colby/Monterey Jack cheese slices, 2 slices bacon, ¼ cup turkey, and a bit of fresh basil, if desired. Place remaining 4 bread slices, buttered side up, on top.
Preheat panini maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the size of your maker, place 1 or 2 Brioche sandwiches on hot surface and close lid to slightly flatten. Cook until paninis are toasted and cheese has melted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for a bit before cutting in half. Serve warm.
Makes 4 sandwiches.