I mentioned my panini press in my Food Lover’s Gift Guide as one of my favorite new gadgets and one that I strongly suggest you buy as soon as possible. It makes crispy, melty, comforting sandwiches quickly and is a cinch to clean.
My favorite ingredient as of late has been butternut squash. It’s got such a great flavor and beautiful color and I can’t get enough of it. This time, I paired it with creamy brie cheese and baby kale for a slightly healthy twist on a decadent panini.
Assemble your ingredients. You’ll need to peel and cube a butternut squash fairly small. Boil the squash in a pot of salted water and drain and set aside.
You’ll also need baby kale, brie cheese, lots of softened butter, and a good loaf of sour dough bread.
Butter one side of both slices of bread.
Flip the bread over and lay slices of brie cheese on both sides. The trick to a good grilled cheese or any grilled melty sandwich is cheese on both sides of the other “goods.” That seals all the other great stuff in.
Stack some kale on one side of the bread…
…and some butternut squash on top of that. Then season it with salt and pepper.
Flip the top over and place it in the middle of a preheated panini press.
Press down so that the sandwich is pretty thin and grill until beautiful grill marks are on both sides. Cut in half and serve immediately.
While this may not be the most traditional panini, and while you may believe, like most, that a sandwich necessitates meat, but for me, this is the perfect combination of flavors and texture.
The brie cheese is creamy, the butternut squash is slightly sweet and the kale is perfect for a warm sandwich. It’s hearty enough to hold up to the heat.
Don’t even talk to me about the buttery, crispy bread. Is there anything better than a grilled cheese sandwich? I say no.
This is quick enough for a weekend lunch and hearty enough for a fun dinner.
Here’s the recipe.
Butternut Squash, Kale and Brie Panini
- 1 loaf of sourdough bread, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed small
- brie cheese, sliced
- baby kale, or tuscan kale with the ribs cut out, sliced thin
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a panini press. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the butternut squash. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the squash is fork tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.
- Butter two slices of sourdough bread then flip them over. Add slices of brie on both slices of bread. Add kale and butternut squash on one side, then season with salt and pepper. Top with the other piece of bread/cheese.
- Place sandwich on the preheated panini press. Press down until the sandwich is sealed and pressed fairly thin. Cook until the cheese is completely melted, the contents are hot, and the bread is nicely grilled on both sides.
- Serve immediately.