Peach, Bacon and Fontina Paninis

I’m definitely a creature of habit when it comes to fruit. If I’m not eating it as is, I’m either incorporating it in a yogurt and granola parfait for breakfast, or I’m baking with it. I don’t put it in salads or eat it with cheese, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve added it to a savory dish that included meat. So, when I first saw this panini combining peaches, bacon and cheese, I didn’t give any serious thought to trying it.

But then the weirdest thing happened; I literally could not get this sandwich out of my head! The more I thought about it, the more intrigued I was by the combination of flavors. I came this close to adding it to my menu for the week, but chickened out at the last minute. When I got to the grocery store on Saturday morning, though, I changed my mind yet again and threw peaches, bacon and fontina in my cart. Just in case :)

Peach, Bacon and Fontina Paninis

A few days later, the peaches were starting to get soft, which was just the push I needed to make this panini happen. It was super quick and easy to throw together, even without a panini maker. I always make paninis on my grill pan with a weighted skillet on top, it works perfectly. This panini was such a big hit I actually made it again for dinner that same night, I’m completely obsessed! The salty bacon and sweet peaches are so good together, and the melty cheese and crisp bread really take it over the top. Definitely a good lesson in learning to step outside of my comfort zone once in a while!

Peach, Bacon and Fontina Paninis
barely adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

{Note: Obviously if you have a panini press, you can use it. I don’t, and find a grill pan and a heavy skillet work just as well and those are the instructions I’m including below.}

6 slices bacon
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
8 3/4-inch slices sourdough bread
5 oz fontina cheese, sliced
2 ripe peaches, cut into 1/2-inch slices
extra virgin olive oil

Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, flipping at least once, until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let the bacon cool slightly, then break each slice into two equal pieces.

Set a grill pan over medium-high heat. Stir the honey and yellow mustard together in a small bowl.

Spread the slices of bread on your work surface. Distribute the cheese evenly among all eight slices. Lay 1 1/2 slices of bacon on each of four pieces of the bread, then distribute the peach slices among the remaining four slices of bread. Drizzle the honey mustard sauce over the peaches. Assemble the sandwiches, combining one bacon topped slice with a peach topped slice. Drizzle some olive oil on the top and bottom of each sandwich, brushing to cover the bread.

Place two sandwiches on the preheated pan. Top with a large skillet and place one or two heavy cans in the pan to weigh it down. Cook the sandwiches until golden brown on the first side, then flip to the second size, replacing the skillet and cans. Continue cooking until golden brown on the second side (the cooking process went quickly for me – maybe 3 minutes total). Repeat to cook remaining sandwiches.

Makes 4 sandwiches