Pear, Brie and Balsamic Panini

May 9th

During my first pregnancy people would talk about their cravings and I sort of thought they were just making excuses to eat unhealthy food. In my second pregnancy I had to eat my words in a glaringly obvious fashion. I mean – I had to have Chick-Fil-A fried chicken sandwiches. I just HAD to have them. I also ate more that a few “quesadillas”, by which I mean white cooper sharp cheese in a flour tortilla, cooked in butter on a griddle. Luckily those days are past but my cheese addiction is still going strong – thankfully my tastes have rounded out a bit and this recipe is the proof!

This collabo popped into my head and I knew I had to make it for my actual tastes to confirm what my mental tastes said would be delicious. The tastes were in sync! A definite play on salty and sweet and truly, if you put brie in anything I will happily nosh away.

Bottled balsamic glaze is something you need to purchase if you haven’t already. I love Trader Joe’s version but to be honest I haven’t tried others (and TJ’s costs under 3$). Can’t wait to grill some summer veggies and smother them in balsamic glaze. It’s like cheese sauce for grownups. Lastly – brie rind? You can eat it if you want. Its close resemblance to paper in both taste and appearance throws me off and I always choose to remove. You do you!

Pear, Brie, and Balsamic Panini

Serves 4

8 slices whole wheat bread

2 tbsp. butter or olive oil

8 oz. brie, rind removed, thinly sliced

2 ripe pears, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. honey

1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic glaze

Salt and Pepper

1. Heat panini press or grill pan over medium high heat.

2. Spread butter or olive oil on one side of each slice of bread.

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3. Lay bread butter-side-down. Divide brie evenly between all 8 slices. Top brie with honey and balsamic glaze. Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper generously over all 8 slices.

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4. Shingle pears atop balsamic.

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5. Sandwich together the bread and place on grill pan/press. Cook until deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Slice in half and serve.

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