Does anybody else out there worship and rely on sandwiches the way I do?
Sandwiches are much like salads and soups, in that you can be as creative as you wish, and it’s going to work out . (Sometimes magically.)
Whether it’s an oeey-gooey grilled cheese (dipped in tomato soup—it’s required!), a classic BLT, chicken salad, egg and cheese, PB+J, or a vegan vegetable club, sandwiches are a staple for me.
And I never discriminate against breads. French baguettes, nutritious wraps, hearty ciabatta loaves, earthy flatbreads, or freshly-baked rolls are the perfect vehicles for toppings in their own unique ways. Today, however, it’s all about the whole grain pita.
I love cooking with seasonal ingredients, so the addition of ripe pears seemed necessary, and everything is better with cheese (unless you’re lactose-intolerant or don’t eat dairy, I suppose).
And because vegetables are delicious, a handful of peppery arugula adds the perfect amount of green to this easy, but satisfying, lunch or dinner.
Pear, Brie, and Arugula Panini
- 4 whole grain pita pockets
- 1 large ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
- a few ounces of brie (I rarely measure cheese—just add what you desire)
- a few handfuls of arugula (again, use your own judgment)
- ground black pepper and cinnamon, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350° and cover a baking sheet with foil.
- On 2 of the pita pockets, layer the pear, brie, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and pepper.
- Bake open-faced in the oven until brie is slightly melted, for about 5 minutes.*
- Top the sandwich with the arugula and the remaining pita.
- Melt a bit of butter or oil in a grill pan over medium heat; add the sandwich to the pan, cooking until each side is golden brown.
- Slice in half (or in quarters) and serve immediately.
*If you’re using a panini press or just want to skip the oven step, feel free to do so. The sandwich could be cooked straight in the grill pan, but we’ve always found that the brie doesn’t melt as quickly as we’d like when doing so.
Grilled sandwiches are almost always my favorite, and this sweet and savory play on grilled cheese is no exception. The peppery bite of the arugula complimented both the buttery brie and the sweet pear perfectly.
Are you a fan of sandwiches? If so, what’s your favorite combination?
What’s your favorite seasonal ingredient to cook with during autumn?