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Ricotta and Pear Drizzle Panini

Ricotta and Pear Drizzle Panini

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 thick slices of all-butter brioche
  • 1 small, sweet dessert pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • ¼ Cup runny honey, plus extra for drizzling

Directions

Spread the ricotta thickly over 2 slices of brioche and fan out the pear slices over the top. Drizzle with the honey and top with the remaining slices of brioche.

Toast in a sandwich grill for 1 to 2 minutes, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until the bread is crisp and golden. Cut in half diagonally and serve immediately, drizzled with extra honey.

Nutritional Facts

Servings2

Calories Per Serving519

Folate equivalent (total)119µg30%


Roasted Pears with Ricotta and Honey Recipe

Yield: Makes 6 servings. Active time 15 minutes, total time 1 hour.

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 ripe yet firm Bosc pears, halved and cored
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
6 ounces ricotta cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp. honey
Ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Put butter in a 9” x 13” baking dish and bake until just melted, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Swirl butter in the dish to coat the bottom completely, then arrange pears, cut sides down, in a single layer in the dish. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Gently turn over pears, drizzle vinegar over top, and roast until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

3. Transfer pears to serving plates, spooning a bit of the ricotta alongside each. Spoon over some of the cooking juices, drizzle pears and ricotta with honey, sprinkle pepper to taste, and serve.

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Fresh Homemade Ricotta

There are many recipes for homemade ricotta. Here is an easy one.

  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Special equipment: large sieve, fine-mesh cheesecloth

Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.

Slowly bring milk, cream and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.


Roasted Grapes with Thyme, Fresh Ricotta & Grilled Bread

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Oh, hello there. Sorry to do this again while you’re all busy working, but I feel compelled to share another lunch with you: roasted grapes with thyme over grilled bread and fresh ricotta…yum. I promise to only do this when I really mean it. This recipe comes from this month’s Real Simple magazine, and fittingly, it couldn’t be more simple or delicious.

I first made this over the weekend as a side dish, omitting the bread, just spooning the warm, thyme-infused grapes over a dollop of homemade ricotta. It was delectable. Why omit the bread, you ask? Well, because the main dish was pear and bacon panini, and serving grilled bread aside panini seemed like overkill. BTW, the pear and bacon sandwiches (another September RS recipe) were fabulous — hoping to report back on those soon.

What I love about this recipe is its versatility. It’s delicious with or without bread. It could be served with any number of cheeses. It could be served at a casual lunch as an open-faced sandwich or at a fancy dinner party as a beautiful hors d’oeuvres.

And what I can’t stop dreaming about doing is this: making an all-white pizza (perhaps with homemade ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, and mozzarella) and, as soon as the pie emerges from the oven, topping it with these just-bursting, sweet-salty grapes. I’ll let you know when that day arrives.

Grapes tossed with thyme, olive oil and salt:

Grapes just removed from the oven:


Italian Focaccia Panini in 3 Delicious Ways

What is better than a sandwich on a hot day in August? Either you are by the pool, at the beach, hiking on a mountain or in the city, sandwiches or as we, Italians, call them, panini will satisfy your hunger in no time.

So today I am sharing some panini ideas using my Rosemary Focaccia Bread. If you do not want to bake, you will find as well how to adapt the recipes. Before digging into the heart of the preparation, let’s find out the Italian tips to make some delicious, simple and easy panini sandwiches.

What is an Italian Panini?

First of all let’s understand the language: the correct translation of sandwich is panino, which means small bread. Hence the word panini is just the plural noun.

Now let’s discuss with which bread we make a panini. The most popular bread is “rosetta”, which means a small rose, as it resembles a rose, when viewed from the top. Usually it has as a semi-hard crust and is soft inside. Other kind of bread could be focaccia or ciabatta bread. And I stop here…otherwise, we could discuss for hours and hours about regional bread variety.

Then, like elsewhere in the world, we use a filling…and we like a rather simple filling, with 2-3 ingredients at maximum. The most popular types of filling are:

Cold cuts:

Italian cold cuts extend from the most well known such as Parma Ham and Salami to the most traditional and less known regional variety such as Mortadella from Bologna, Bresaola from Valtellina, Nduja from Calabria.

Cheese:

Italians love cheese and, when choosing a filling, something like Parmesan Shaving, Mozzarella, Pecorino, Ricotta are all in, along with many other regional varieties.

Vegetables:

We add some vegetables as filling, either in the form of veggies preserved in oil, such as mushroom, artichokes, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes or as fresh produce such as tomatoes and arugula.

In Italy, panini has no wide use of spreads, sauces, etc. Maybe we allow a bit of mayo. We prefer the finest quality ingredients so that you do not need any sauce to enrich or add flavors.

When and how we eat Panini? In Italy, we eat panini as a quick lunch break or it is also good as a snack for kids.

Panini is not always grilled in a sandwich press. In Italy, you can choose if you want it grilled or not and it depends also on which is your filling of choice. As a tip , Italian prefer not to heat cold cuts as this product will become drier and saltier, altering its original flavor.

Getting hungry? Let’s discover the three recipes!

How to prepare Italian Focaccia Panini in 3 Delicious Ways

These are all simple and easy panini recipes that you can make at home. I used a Rosemary Focaccia Bread to make 3 sandwiches or panini for each of the recipe. One full Focaccia Bread yields 9 individual portions. Like any other sandwich, you cut each square lengthwise, place the different filling, close it and enjoy it.

#1 Rosemary Focaccia Panini with Mortadella

The first recipe is the most delicious ones as I used a typical Italian cold cuts, called Mortadella. Mortadella at its finest is produced in Emilia Romagna, exactly around Bologna and the tastier variety has pistacchios. It is melting in the mouth like butter, it is delicate and savory, leaving you hungry for more. It is very high in fat, but in small quantity and from time to time, it is a delicacy you have to try.

For the preparation of this sandwich or panini, I used 2 slices of mortadella and some artichoke hearts, preserved in oil. The combination is a mouthwatering sandwich where, in every bite, you meet the crunchy top of the focaccia, the softness of the dough and artichokes, the succulence of mortadella with its velvety texture.

#2 Rosemary Focaccia bread with Bresaola, Mozzarella and Arugula

This recipe is healthier choice as Bresaola is an air-dried beef cut, very lean. Bresaola is produced in Valtellina, a valley in Lombardy, around 200 km north of Milan. For the mozzarella I used cow mozzarella, fresh. I add some Arugula just give a green touch. This combination will provide you with a salty taste from the bresaola, a soft, creamy texture from the mozzarella and a peppery note from the Arugula. Tip: brush the bresaola with EVOO before filling your sandwich.

#3 Rosemary Focaccia Panini with Ricotta & Grilled Apricot

The third recipe is a bit less traditional, Focaccia Panini with Ricotta & Grilled Apricot. In every bite you will dive into the crunchiness of the focaccia top, the softness of the dough, the creminess of the ricotta and the plumpiness of the apricot, which sweetness is emphasized by its grilling and a drizzle of raw honey.

Italian Panini 3 Ways Variations and Substitution

If you are halal, then you will need to swap the mortadella with chicken or turkey variety. You can eat freely all the others.

If you are vegetarian, go for the Focaccia Panini #3. And in case you are vegan, sub the ricotta with a vegan spread.

For gluten-free diet, I suggest to sub the focaccia with a gluten-free version.

In case you do not want to bake, you can buy your focaccia bread or use a ciabatta bread.

How to serve Italian Panini 3 Ways

Well, well, well…these sandwiches are ideal for: a quick lunch, a snack for your kids, a party or gathering with your family or just an aperitive. They are rather simple to make and everyone will find something to suit his taste. In case you serve this as quick lunch, consider to pair it with a green side salad.

I usually serve them cold or warm, if you want to grill them I suggest to not grill the one with Mortadella, and the one with Ricotta. You can grill the third one, but add the bresaola only after you grilled it, otherwise, the cold cut will become saltier and dry.

Which wine to pair with Italian Panini 3 Ways

You can enjoy these sandwiches with a Classic Aperol Spritz in case you serve them as aperitive. A glass of Prosecco will also be a good choice as it will quench your thirst and prepare your palate for the next bite.

If you are looking instead for the perfect pairing I suggest a Lambrusco with the #1. Lambrusco is a typical wine from Emilia Romagna, slightly sparkling that is best enjoyed at 60 F° or 15 C°. The cherry and creamy notes pair perfectly with the richness of Mortadella. Its slight fizziness is ideal in the summer season.

For the Focaccia Panini #2, I suggest a Sardinian Carignano di Sulcis, that you can easily find labeled in France as well and it is called Carignan. It offers umami flavors, that complement well with Bresaola.

For the Focaccia Panini #3, I suggest a Chiaretto di Bardolino, from Veneto, where its floral note of jasmine and its citrus notes will balance the creaminess of the ricotta and mellow sweetness of the apricot and honey. I must confess that I am a bit biased towards this wine, as I am homesick, so any rose wine will be good!


  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), divided
  • 2 (1 1/2-oz.) whole-grain bread slices, toasted
  • 1/2 firm-ripe medium-size pear, unpeeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon flaky or kosher salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 330
  • Fat 15g
  • Satfat 4g
  • Unsatfat 9g
  • Protein 15g
  • Carbohydrate 36g
  • Fiber 5g
  • Sugars 12g
  • Added sugars 4g
  • Sodium 348mg
  • Calcium 24% DV
  • Potassium 6% DV

Pear & Brie Toasts with Honey Balsamic Drizzle

As the cooler temperatures start to take their toll a simple bowl of chips and guac is not cutting it anymore as an appetizer amongst our group of friends. We are all craving something warm and comforting, but we also don’t want something super heavy such as meatballs or cheese dip. We just aren’t there yet.

In our house we are still holding out on turning on the heat, and most weekends are still spent outside, albeit on house projects as opposed to camping of hiking as I would like. While we aren’t jumping in pools anymore we are not ready to give up our outdoor time to the impending northeast winter. It’s still fall and we plan on living it up regardless of how cold it might be when we get up in the morning.

That’s what’s nice about these little toasts. The warm crunchy bread is covered in buttery, melty cheese and topped with a single slice of fresh cool pear, and a nice balsamic honey drizzle to add some sweetness. Now that is balance people. You’ve got a little bit of everything there to please everyone as well as give a nice little nod to the season’s flavors. This is an appetizer that would be great to serve throughout fall and winter since pears tend to be in season well into the cool months.


Ricotta and Prosecco Poached Pear Crostatas

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, Prosecco, water, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, cinnamon stick half and cloves and bring to a boil. Add the pears and keep them submerged by covering them with a small lid. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the pears are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a cutting board. Let cool, then thinly slice them lengthwise. Reserve the poaching liquid in the refrigerator for poaching other fruit.

In a bowl, using a fork, blend the ricotta with one of the egg yolks, and the salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat the remaining egg yolk with the milk.

On a well-floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of Crème Fraîche Pastry to a 13-inch round. Brush off any excess flour and transfer the round to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread half of the ricotta mixture on the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Arrange half of the pear slices over the ricotta filling in a slightly overlapping circular pattern. Fold the edges of the pastry over the pears, crimping and pressing as you go brush the pastry rim with half of the egg wash. Repeat with the remaining pastry, ricotta, pears and egg wash. Freeze the crostatas until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the crostatas on the middle and lower racks of the oven for 40 minutes, or until deeply golden. Shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking for even browning. Let cool. Drizzle with honey, cut into wedges and serve at room temperature.


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                Blue Cheese Roasted Pears with Pomegranate & Pine Nuts

                Roasted pears make an elegant side dish or sophisticated dessert for any winter season celebration. Don’t miss out now that the holidays are over! Not only do pears support a healthy lifestyle, the mild yet honey-sweet flesh of a delicious pear makes the perfect pair-up with big, bold flavors. My Blue Cheese Roasted Pears with Pomegranate & Pine Nuts takes baked fruit to the next level!

                Not that I always go for the best-looking fruit in the basket, but the Bosc pear can’t be beat on beauty and good taste when it comes to creating an elegant pear recipe. The elongated, tapered neck and rich cinnamon color set them apart from other varieties. Plus, the flesh of a Bosc pear sweetens early and holds up well to baking, roasting, sautéing and other cooking methods, where others would turn to mush. However, if you can’t find Bosc pears at the market, Bartlett and Anjou make worthy substitutions.

                Another wonderful thing about pear dishes, such as my baked pears, are their chic simplicity for a dinner party. Just mix together a few ingredients, pop in the oven and catch up with friends over a glass of wine while you wait for the flavor-mingling magic to happen. Fragrant aromas will start wafting out of the oven, that’s when your nose tells your brain that it’s time to take a look-see. When the pears are softening, the cheese bubbling and the pan sauces syrup-in, your masterpiece is ready to sway even the most finicky of foodies on your invite list.

                Serve Blue Cheese Roasted Pears with Pomegranate & Pine Nuts aside a main dish such as pork loin, roast, or goose. As a fruit dessert, these bold roasted pears will punctuate the end of your meal with a savory-sweet exclamation point. And, should you have leftovers (ha), add a pear half to your salad or slice them up and whip out the panini press.


                Tastes Better Together: Honey and Black Pepper

                2 thin-crust flatbreads
                1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
                1 Tbsp honey
                3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
                1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
                1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
                1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
                Pinch of salt
                1/2 red pear, sliced lengthwise

                Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay flatbreads on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

                Meanwhile, combine vinegar and honey in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 7 minutes.

                In a small bowl, combine ricotta, herbs, pepper, and salt. Spread half of the cheese mixture over each flatbread. Top with pear slices and bake for 5 minutes.

                Drizzle pizzas with honey-balsamic glaze and top with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

                MAKES 4 SERVINGS
                Per serving: 180 cal, 4.5 g fat (2.5 g sat), 27 g carbs, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 9 g protein

                Three More Delicious Recipes
                1. Warm steak salad: Brush an 8-oz top sirloin steak with 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt. Press steak into 1 Tbsp crushed black peppercorns, coating both sides, then place in a hot skillet over medium-high heat and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for rare. In a bowl, combine 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 Tbsp brandy, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/2 shallot, minced. Remove steak from skillet. Lower heat to medium, add 1/4 cup water, then add 1 lb winter greens. Pour in honey mixture, cover, and cook for 3 minutes, until just wilted. Remove greens to a serving plate and reduce remaining sauce. Thinly slice steak, place on top of greens, and drizzle with sauce. Serves 4.

                2. Game-day wings: Separate 8 chicken wings at the joint and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. In a saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp honey, 1/2 Tbsp water, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil, and 1/4 tsp black pepper until bubbly. Brush on wings and bake 10 minutes more. Grind black pepper over wings and serve with blue cheese and celery. Serves 4.

                3. Spiced pecans: In a skillet over medium heat, combine 1 cup raw pecans, 1 Tbsp honey, and 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil. Toast, stirring, for 5 minutes. Toss with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper, then spread on a baking sheet. Bake in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes, stirring once. Cool slightly before serving. Serves 4.


                Watch the video: ricotta and pear cake (January 2022).