I sit here this morning with mixed emotions. I’m excited for this fun-filled Labor Day weekend, but I also know that this weekend marks the unofficial end to summer. I’m a summer baby, I love the warm weather and I do not look forward to the cold temps at all. Granted, in Texas it doesn’t really get cold until November-ish, but still.
So now I feel like I have to make a mad-dash attempt to get in all those summery recipes that I haven’t gotten around to yet. You know, the ones that are light and refreshing, to give us all a little break from the summer heat. Well, maybe I don’t need a break from the heat, but you get my gist.
I’m sure by the title of this recipe you could already see how it’s perfect for me. The word balsamic says it all. But really, there is so much more to it!
Fresh strawberries, glorious basil, and tangy goat cheese make up this amazing sammich, and the balsamic honey sauce is just the icing on the cake (sauce on the sammich…?) that makes it a perfect summer lunch.
I had to go grocery shopping yesterday after we got out of work early (yay!), and I hadn’t had lunch yet. That is not the smartest thing for this girl to do. Hungry shopping = higher grocery bill. And then I had to get all the groceries home, unpacked and put away. Have I mentioned how much I hate grocery shopping? Ugh.
By the time I actually got to make lunch, it was almost 3 o’clock. That is insanity y’all. I get a little cranky if I don’t get fed. Thank goodness that sammiches are generally quick to throw together, and that I have the ability to devour one in about two minutes. My tummy was quickly full and happy and I was able to go about the rest of my day sans crankiness. I mean, just look at this thing…
How can you resist it?? You can’t. So don’t try.
Strawberry, Basil, and Goat Cheese Panini
with Balsamic Honey Sauce
Source: Cookie and Kate
- 4 slices of whole wheat bread
- 3 oz goat cheese
- 6-7 strawberries
- a few basil leaves, whole or roughly chopped
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon butter, or less
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- To make the balsamic honey sauce, combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the liquid is reduced by about half (15 minutes or more). Pour the liquid into a small bowl to cool while you make the panini.
- Spread a layer of goat cheese over all four slices of bread. Thinly slice the strawberries and divide them among two of the slices of bread. Add the basil to the other two slices, and sprinkly black pepper over all. Top each of the strawberry-covered slices with one of the basil covered slices.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and melt one to two teaspoons of butter in the skillet, then add the first sandwich. Cover it with a plate or appropriately sized dish and weigh it down with something heavy, like canned beans or a cast iron skillet.
- 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. Repeat the process with the second sandwich.
- Slice each sandwich in half and serve warm with the balsamic honey sauce.