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Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini Recipe

Imagine biting into a warm, crispy sandwich filled with the sweet, juicy tang of strawberries, the earthy freshness of basil, and the creamy, tangy richness of goat cheese. This panini beautifully blends the flavors for a delightful sensory experience.

Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini Recipe
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While all ingredients for this recipe are straightforward, Goat Cheese might not be a regular staple in your pantry. It can be found in the cheese section of most supermarkets, and it comes in various forms. For this recipe, we are using the creamy, spreadable variety. And for the whole wheat levain bread, it's a type of sourdough bread that has a hearty, slightly tangy flavor which complements the other ingredients well. If it's not available, any good-quality whole wheat bread would work.

Ingredients for Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini

Whole wheat levain bread: This is a type of sourdough bread that gives a hearty base for the panini.

Goat cheese: Creamy and tangy, it blends beautifully with the sweetness of the strawberries.

Strawberries: They add a sweet and juicy element to the panini.

Basil leaves: They add a fresh and aromatic flavor.

Black pepper: It adds a slight heat to balance the sweet and creamy elements.

Butter: It helps to make the bread crispy and golden.

Balsamic vinegar: It adds a tangy flavor to the sauce.

Honey: It sweetens the sauce, balancing the acidity of the balsamic vinegar.

One reader, Gladi Rauch says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This strawberry, basil, and goat cheese panini recipe is a game-changer! The combination of sweet strawberries, aromatic basil, and creamy goat cheese is a taste sensation. The balsamic honey sauce adds the perfect touch of tangy sweetness. It's a delightful and satisfying treat that's perfect for any time of day.

Gladi Rauch

Techniques Required for Crafting the Perfect Panini

How to assemble the panini: Layer goat cheese, strawberries, and basil between two slices of whole wheat levain bread. Sprinkle with black pepper and press the sandwich together.

How to cook the panini: Heat a skillet over medium heat, melt butter, and cook the assembled panini until both sides are golden brown, pressing it with a weight to ensure even cooking.

How to make balsamic honey sauce: In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and honey over medium-low heat. Simmer and stir constantly until the liquid is reduced by about half. Pour the sauce into a small bowl to cool.

How To Make Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini

Top this goat cheese panini with strawberries and basil for a wonderful combination of sweet and tart taste with minty, earthy flavors and milky texture.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Panini:

  • 2sliceswhole wheat levain bread,thinly sliced
  • 1.5ozgoat cheese
  • 4strawberries
  • basil leaves
  • black pepper,freshly ground
  • 1tbspbutter

For Balsamic Honey Sauce:

  • cupbalsamic vinegar
  • cuphoney

Instructions

  1. Spread a layer of goat cheese over both slices of bread. Slice your strawberries relatively thinly by cutting off slices from the outside of the strawberries, leaving the center behind.

  2. Spread strawberries over one slice of bread, and basil on the other. Sprinkle both sides with black pepper, and lay the basil slice face down on top of the strawberry slice.

  3. Heat a small to medium skillet over medium heat. Melt one to two teaspoons of butter in the skillet, then add the sandwich.

  4. Cover it with a plate or appropriately sized dish and weigh it down with something heavy, like canned beans or a cast-iron skillet.

  5. Cook until the bottom of the bread is lightly browned, about two to three minutes, then lift the sandwich from the pan, add another pat of butter, let it melt, and return the sandwich to repeat on the other side. Slice each sandwich in half and serve warm.

  6. To make the balsamic honey sauce, combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

  7. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Pour the liquid into a small bowl to cool.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 1088.33kcal
  • Fat: 21.70g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.52g
  • Trans Fat: 0.47g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.06g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.75g
  • Carbohydrates: 201.19g
  • Fiber: 5.69g
  • Sugar: 120.86g
  • Protein: 19.70g
  • Cholesterol: 50.09mg
  • Sodium: 241.23mg
  • Calcium: 131.86mg
  • Potassium: 367.56mg
  • Iron: 6.49mg
  • Vitamin A: 221.87µg
  • Vitamin C: 32.25mg

Crucial Technique for Achieving the Ideal Panini Texture

When preparing the strawberries for your panini, ensure they are sliced thinly and evenly. This not only allows for a more balanced flavor distribution, but also prevents the sandwich from becoming too bulky or difficult to eat. Additionally, when applying the goat cheese, spread it evenly across the bread to ensure every bite has a hint of its unique, tangy flavor. Lastly, don't rush the browning process of the bread. Allow it to toast slowly on medium heat to achieve a perfect, crispy texture without burning.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Panini Recipe

Plan: Before you start, gather all your ingredients and equipment. This will help you work more efficiently and avoid any last-minute trips to the store.

Prep: Wash, chop, and measure all your ingredients before you begin cooking. This will streamline the cooking process and make it easier to assemble the recipe.

Multitask: Look for steps in the recipe where you can multitask, such as chopping vegetables while something is simmering. This can save a lot of time in the kitchen.

Organize: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you cook. This will help you move more quickly and efficiently, without having to stop and clean up as you go.

Leftovers: Consider making extra portions and using leftovers for future meals. This can save time on meal prep for the next day.

Substitute Ingredients For Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini Recipe

  • strawberries - Substitute with peaches: Peaches have a similar sweet and juicy flavor to strawberries, and they pair well with goat cheese and basil in a panini.

  • goat cheese - Substitute with ricotta cheese: Ricotta cheese has a creamy texture and a slightly tangy flavor, which can be a good substitute for goat cheese in this panini recipe.

  • basil - Substitute with arugula: Arugula has a peppery and slightly nutty flavor that can add a fresh and vibrant element to the panini, similar to basil.

Best Way to Present Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the panini on a clean, white plate, ensuring that the sandwich is positioned neatly and the ingredients are visible. Use tweezers to adjust the basil leaves and strawberries for a polished presentation.

  2. Garnish with fresh basil: Place a small sprig of fresh basil on the side of the plate to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the dish.

  3. Drizzle with balsamic honey sauce: Using a squeeze bottle or a small spoon, carefully drizzle the balsamic honey sauce in a zigzag pattern on the plate, ensuring it doesn't overpower the flavors of the panini.

  4. Add a sprinkle of black pepper: Lightly dust the plate with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper to enhance the visual appeal and add a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

  5. Serve with a side salad: Accompany the panini with a small side salad dressed in a light vinaigrette, adding a complementary element to the dish and providing a balanced culinary experience.

  6. Incorporate edible flowers: Consider adding a few edible flowers, such as pansies or nasturtiums, to the plate for an elegant and visually stunning touch.

  7. Use a wooden serving board: For a rustic and charming presentation, serve the panini on a wooden serving board, creating a warm and inviting visual aesthetic.

  8. Accentuate with microgreens: Sprinkle a few delicate microgreens around the plate to add a subtle burst of color and a hint of earthy flavor to the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making a Delightful Panini

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It can be used to prepare various components of a recipe efficiently.
  • Skillet: A skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning ingredients. It's an essential tool for cooking the panini to perfection.
  • Small saucepan: A small saucepan is used for heating and simmering liquids, making it ideal for preparing the balsamic honey sauce in this recipe.
  • Knife: A sharp knife is essential for slicing the strawberries and cutting the bread, ensuring precise and uniform cuts for the panini ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for slicing and preparing ingredients, protecting the countertop and ensuring safety during food preparation.
  • Butter knife: A butter knife is used for spreading the goat cheese onto the bread slices, ensuring an even layer for the panini.

How To Reheat Leftover Panini

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover panini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted. This method will help restore the crispiness of the bread while keeping the filling warm and gooey.

  • If you have a panini press, you can reheat your leftover panini by placing it back in the press for 2-3 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the filling is heated through. This method will give you results similar to when the panini was first made.

  • For a quick and easy reheating option, use your microwave. Place the leftover panini on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high for 30-45 seconds, or until the filling is warm. To prevent the bread from becoming soggy, place a paper towel underneath the panini to absorb any excess moisture.

  • If you want to reheat your panini on the stovetop, heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush the surface with a little butter or olive oil, and place the panini on the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until the bread is crispy and the filling is heated through. Use a spatula to press down on the panini while it's cooking to ensure even heating.

  • For a unique twist, try cutting your leftover panini into smaller pieces and using them as croutons for a salad. The crispy bread and flavorful filling will add an interesting texture and taste to your greens. Simply cut the panini into bite-sized pieces, place them on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown.

Interesting Trivia About Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese

Goat cheese, strawberries, and basil are a classic combination in French cuisine. This trio offers a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and herbal flavors, creating a delightful taste experience in the panini. Goat cheese, with its creamy texture and tangy flavor, pairs beautifully with the sweetness of strawberries and the aromatic freshness of basil. This combination not only provides a delicious flavor profile but also offers a nutritional boost, as strawberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, while basil adds a dose of vitamin K and essential minerals.

Is Making This Panini at Home Cost-Effective?

This strawberry, basil, and goat cheese panini recipe offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The cost-effectiveness is moderate, as goat cheese and fresh strawberries can be pricier ingredients. However, the dish's unique combination and satisfying taste make it worth the investment. The approximate cost for a household of four people is around $15-$20. The overall verdict rates this recipe an 8/10 for its creativity and delicious outcome.

Is This Panini Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The strawberry, basil, and goat cheese panini recipe is a delightful blend of flavors, but it does have some elements that could be improved to make it healthier. Let's break it down:

Positives:

  • Whole wheat levain bread provides fiber and nutrients
  • Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants
  • Basil adds a fresh, aromatic flavor and contains beneficial plant compounds
  • Goat cheese is lower in calories and fat compared to many other cheeses

Negatives:

  • The recipe calls for butter, which is high in saturated fat
  • The balsamic honey sauce, while tasty, adds extra sugar and calories to the dish

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Swap the butter for a healthier alternative like olive oil or avocado oil, which contain beneficial monounsaturated fats
  • Reduce the amount of goat cheese used, or opt for a lower-fat variety to decrease the overall calorie and fat content
  • Use a whole grain bread with a higher fiber content to increase the nutritional value of the sandwich
  • Experiment with adding other nutrient-dense ingredients, such as spinach or sliced almonds, to boost the vitamin and mineral content
  • Serve the balsamic honey sauce on the side, allowing individuals to control the amount they consume, or replace it with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar for flavor without the added sugar

By making these simple adjustments, you can enjoy a tasty and satisfying panini while also supporting your overall health and well-being.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Panini Combination

This recipe combines the sweetness of strawberries, the earthiness of basil, and the creaminess of goat cheese, creating a delightful flavor profile. The balsamic honey sauce adds a tangy and sweet element that complements the other ingredients. The use of whole wheat levain bread adds a nutty and wholesome texture to the panini. Overall, this recipe offers a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, making it a delightful and sophisticated dish for any occasion.

Enhance Your Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mango Salsa: Create a refreshing mango salsa with diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a burst of tropical flavor.
Grilled Asparagus: Grill some asparagus spears and drizzle with a balsamic glaze for a smoky and tangy side dish.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Toss sweet potato chunks with olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika, then roast until caramelized and tender for a sweet and savory accompaniment.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love This Panini

Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad: This refreshing salad combines grilled chicken, creamy avocado, and a variety of fresh vegetables for a satisfying and healthy meal.
Mango Salsa Fish Tacos: These fish tacos are topped with a sweet and tangy mango salsa, adding a burst of flavor to every bite.
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Sage: Warm up with this comforting butternut squash soup, flavored with the sweetness of apple and the earthiness of sage.
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars: Indulge in these decadent lemon blueberry cheesecake bars, perfect for a sweet treat or dessert.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Your Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and crispy for a delicious start to any meal.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with bruschetta topped with a variety of fresh and vibrant ingredients such as tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze. Serve on toasted baguette slices for a burst of flavor in every bite.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the sweet and tangy flavors of a classic strawberry cheesecake, with a buttery graham cracker crust and a luscious layer of creamy cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries.

Why trust this Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, featuring fresh strawberries, fragrant basil, and creamy goat cheese all nestled between wholesome whole wheat levain bread. The addition of a balsamic honey sauce provides a perfect balance of sweet and tangy notes. The careful layering of ingredients and the use of high-quality balsamic vinegar and honey in the sauce showcase the attention to detail and the commitment to creating a memorable dining experience. Trust in the simplicity and elegance of this recipe to elevate your panini game.

Share your thoughts on this delightful Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any creative twists or variations to suggest!
FAQ:
How can I make this recipe vegan-friendly?
To make this recipe vegan-friendly, you can substitute the goat cheese with a vegan cheese alternative, such as a creamy cashew cheese or a vegan cream cheese. You can also use a plant-based butter or margarine instead of regular butter for grilling the panini.
Can I use a different type of bread for this recipe?
Absolutely! You can use any type of bread you prefer for this recipe. Sourdough, ciabatta, or a hearty multigrain bread would all work well with the flavors of strawberry, basil, and goat cheese.
Can I prepare the balsamic honey sauce in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the balsamic honey sauce in advance. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you're ready to use it, you can gently reheat it or bring it to room temperature before drizzling it over your panini.
What can I serve with this panini for a complete meal?
This panini pairs beautifully with a fresh green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette. You can also serve it with a side of soup, such as a tomato basil soup or a creamy butternut squash soup, for a satisfying and well-rounded meal.
Can I add any other ingredients to customize this panini?
Absolutely! This recipe is versatile, and you can customize it to your liking. You can add a handful of baby spinach or arugula for some extra greens, or add a drizzle of balsamic glaze for an additional layer of flavor. Get creative and make it your own!

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