I know you all are going to think I have lost my mind when I tell you that I made a great sandwich about two weeks ago, and the star ingredient was an APRICOT!!! I'll admit, it does sound kind of strange, but you will have to trust me when I tell you, the sandwich was REALLY REALLY GOOD.....
in fact, it was FABULOUS!
I have very fond memories of picking apricots in my great grandfather's backyard with my cousins when we were young. We would sit on the hill and eat the freshly picked fruit until we were literally sick to our stomachs. Til this day, whenever I am in the produce department of the grocery store and see apricots, I always think of my Poppy and that big old tree. So on this particular shopping trip, I decided to fill a bag and put them in my cart.
As I was walking the aisles of the grocery store, I remembered a sandwich that was made by one of my favorite food network chefs. The recipe used grilled peaches, so I thought maybe I could substitute a few ingredients and come up with something very similar.
The first thing I did was slice the apricots and rub them with a little olive oil.....
then I grilled them on my panini press until they caramelized.
After they were done, I removed them from the press and started to put the sandwich together. I sliced my ciabatta bread then layered it with arugula, fontina cheese, the grilled apricots, and I made a quick pesto aioli(a couple tablespoons of light mayo with a teaspoon or two of pesto mixed in). Before I put the top piece of bread on, I gave it a pinch of kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper, then we were finally ready for the press.
After a few minutes, I had one rockin' sandwich ready to be eaten!!
The combination of flavors and textures were fantastic. The arugula is crisp and peppery, then you have the soft melty cheese that tastes a little salty paired with the sweetness that comes from those caramelized apricots. It is definitely a tasty and unique sandwich. I served it with tomato soup and it was the perfect winter meal. You will have to give it a try!
I have been in a soup and sandwich mode for the last few weeks....... and have become addicted to my panini press. I am coming up with all sorts of quick and easy things.
It's always fun to experiment in the kitchen:)
~Happy Weekend Everyone~