Mariel here. So thanks to Secret Recipe Club, I found out I have a food soul-twin: Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet. Every month we all talk about how much trouble we had choosing a recipe from so-and-so’s site, but this time I really and truly mean it. Literally every single one of her recipes appealed. Fried Chicken Sliders with Peach Relish…don’t mind if I do! Wild Mushroom Tart…pass it over. Gin & Tonic Sorbet…I’ll have 30!
If I ever find myself in the Bay Area, I’ll be inviting myself over to dinner and most likely stealing the leftovers.
Because I had such a hard time choosing a recipe and because I was so inspired by her gourmet-style flavor combos, I basically pulled from three different dishes: a Fig, Beet & Watermelon Salad with Shallot Dressing, her Fig, Peach & Smoked Mozzarella Bruschetta, and a dash of Camembert, Caramelized Onions and Fig Jam Crostini. Are you sensing a theme yet?
It’s figs. The theme is figs.
Together, these three figgy fantasies gave birth to a magnificent luncheon lovechild: the Peach & Mozzarella Panini with a Fig-Shallot Tapenade. This might just be the world’s most perfect panini and I urge you to make it before peaches and figs go scampering out of your local produce section. I also urge you to use a napkin whilst eating, since they’re a little on the sloppy side. But every good meal should be.
Peach and Mozzarella Paninis with a Fig-Shallot Tapenade
Makes 4 sandwiches (with leftover tapenade)
Ingredients for the Tapenade:
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter – stock
3 shallots, minced finely or pulsed in a food processor – $2.49
1 teaspoon sugar – stock
Salt & pepper – stock
6-7 fresh figs, finely diced or pulsed in a food processor – $4.99
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard – stock
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar – stock
¼-cup extra virgin olive oil – stock
Ingredients for the Paninis:
8 slices of thick-cut bakery-style bread – $2.50
2 ripe peaches (or nectarines), sliced thinly – $2.49
¼-lb fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly – $2.00
Fresh basil leaves – $1.99
Butter for greasing the skillet – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $16.46
Cost per panini: $4.11
Directions for the Tapenade:
1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over med-low heat. Add the shallots and sugar, season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are golden, about 10 minutes. Add the figs and cook, stirring occasionally, another 5 minutes.
2. In a medium-size glass bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt & pepper and olive oil. Stir in the fig/shallot combo and set aside.
Directions for the Paninis:
1. Layering is crucial in a panini, but I found this worked well. On a slice of bread, start with a layer of peaches/nectarines, then spoon some tapenade on top, then some basil leaves, followed by the mozzarella. Top with another slice of bread.
2. In a medium skillet, heat some butter over medium heat. Place your sandwich in the skillet and use another pan or a panini press to flatten. Toast until golden then flip. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.