My parents have a friend who has a recipe box filled with sandwich recipes. They go something like this: Take two slices of bread and spread with mustard. Add ham and Swiss cheese. Cut in half and eat. I always got a kick out of this guy because, I mean, who needs a recipe to make a sandwich?
Except here I am now posting a recipe for a sandwich. But…BUT…consider this more inspiration than a recipe because you can use any quantities you like and switch up the ingredients however you see fit. It would just be wrong for me not to share it with you.
The inspiration came from a wedding we attended two weekends ago in Kansas City where they had a panini bar during cocktail hour. How cool is that? I’ve been obsessed with paninis pretty much since then. While cold cuts aren’t recommended when you’ve got a bun in the oven (and I’d avoided them up until that point), the turkey, fig, and mozzarella panini looked way too delicious to pass up. So I hoped for the best and shoveled those things in as quickly as the panini guy served them up (sorry, other guests). Fortunately, I lived to tell about it–and make them on my own!
To avoid eating cold cuts this time (though you can absolutely use them!) I roasted a turkey breast the night before and served a mini thanksgiving with mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, and roasted beets. But the real reason for all of that effort was just so I could make this sandwich the next day. True story. It’s all about the leftovers, isn’t it? And oh man, was it ever worth it.
Gooey, melty mozzarella combined with sweet fig butter (find it at Trader Joe’s!), crisp spinach (you know me–always finding a way to add some greens), all smooshed together on toasty, golden whole wheat bread. I just used a regular loaf from the grocery store, but you can fancy this up with any kind of bakery bread. Pop this baby into a panini maker or George Foreman grill. But if you’re like me and don’t have either one just use a cast iron skillet with a heavy pan pressed on top (instructions below). It totally worked! As soon as I sunk my teeth into the very first bite I was already plotting when I’d be having my next sandwich (lunch today, duh). You’ll definitely want to make this when you’re drowning in leftover turkey later this month–if you can wait that long!
Turkey & Fig Panini
Makes 1 Sandwich
- 2 slices whole wheat bread (or any bread of choice)
- Fig butter
- 2 slices mozzarella cheese
- Roasted turkey or chicken (cold cuts are fine, too). If you use roasted, though, heat it up a little before to help the cheese melt
- Small handful of spinach, arugula, or other leafy green (optional)
- Pat of butter
Prep the sandwich: Smear a generous amount of fig butter on one side of each slice of the bread. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of the fig butter on each slice of bread. On one of the slices add the turkey and then spinach. Top with the other slice of bread to form a sandwich.
Use a panini maker or George Foreman grill and cook until desired degree of tastiness.
If using a cast iron skillet: Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small pat of butter (less than 1 Tbsp). Place the sandwich on the skillet. Place the bottom of another pan on top of the sandwich. Apply pressure, if needed. Cook about 2-4 minutes, until bottom slice is golden brown, being careful not to burn. Use a spatula to flip the sandwich over and cook the second side, again with the pan stacked on top, another 2-4 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.