Grilled Peach, Pesto and Mozzarella Sandwiches
I know it sounds weird, but hot peaches, mozzarella and basil go together so well I’m surprised they’re not the standard sandwich of choice. You’ll never feel quite the same way about a plain old grilled cheese again. I’ve tried different variations, and this is my favorite.
Gruyere works reasonably well for a more serious sandwich, replacing the mozzarella, and Emmental is good, adding a sweet nuttiness, but I like the delicate, light flavor of the mozzarella as it really lets the peaches shine through. That’s only really true of proper Mozarella though, or at least cows’ milk proper. This is not a job for pre-grated pizza nonsense.
The pesto is essential to make it a savory meal, it adds a fresh greenness and brings some salt, otherwise it can taste a bit like a peach pie in sandwich form.
- Prep time:
- Cook time:
- Ready in:
- Serves: 2
- 6 slices of bread
- 4 tsp butter
- 4 tsp basil pesto
- 3 ripe peaches
- 1 ball mozzarella
- Butter one side of each slice of bread, this buttered side will be the outside of your sandwich.
- Spread Pesto on the unbuttered side of two of the bread slices. This is your base layer.
- Slice your peaches reasonably thinly. I aim for 12 slices per peach.
- Arrange the peach slices on top of the pesto.
- Slice the mozzarella and arrange it on top of the peaches.
- Top with the final bread slices, remembering to keep the butter side up.
- Cook in a panini press, or if you don’t have one, you can use a skillet/frying pan – put the sandwiches in the pan on a medium heat.
- Cook for a few minutes, until the bottom of the bread starts to brown. Opt for undercooking rather than overcooking at this stage as you can always cook them more later.
- Flip the sandwiches carefully to avoid any spillage. If anything comes out, just push it back in.
- Cook the other side until it starts to brown, again, you can always flip it back over to test.
- When your sandwich is the exact right level of crispy outer for you, serve immediately.
You can build a better sandwich with a panini press. A press makes it much easier to cook thicker sandwiches, you won’t have your sandwich fall apart as you try and flip it over when the contents aren’t melted enough to act as ‘glue’, and you’ll get those professional looking grill lines on your sandwich.
This recipe works best if the mozzarella and peaches are at room temperature when you start. It helps the mozzarella to melt without you having to overcook the sandwich to either dry out or burn the bread.
You can skin the peaches if you don’t like their furry feel. I do like that furry weirdness, so no skinning for me. Alternatively, you can use nectarines, avoiding the whole furriness worry altogether.
Get the best of both worlds with a stovetop panini pan, and take on the world, one grilled sandwich at a time.