Savory peach dishes are a Summer favorite, and if peaches can pair well with pancetta and basil as an appetizer, why not throw them all into a grilled cheese sandwich? I did just that on a recent warm evening. The resulting sandwich was absolutely scrumptious! It's a great combination of flavors (salty and sweet) and textures (crispy and gooey). Putting peaches in a grilled cheese sandwich may sound crazy, but trust me, it really works! To give this quick and easy recipe a try, read on for the technique.
From Katie Sweeney
Grilled Peach and Pancetta Sandwiches
6 slices slices of pancetta
2/3 loaf ciabatta
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese, grated
10 large basil leaves
1 peach, pit discarded, halved and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup gruyère cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Foil-wrapped brick, for grilling
In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is browned and crispy, about 10-12 minutes, flipping once half way through. Remove with tongs and set the cooked pancetta on a plate lined with paper towels. Do not discard the pancetta fat that is in the skillet.
Slice the ciabatta in half lengthwise. Scoop out some of the bread that is on the bottom half of the ciabatta. Save for another use or discard. Repeat with the top of the ciabatta.
Place the bottom on a work surface. Cover evenly with the grated fontina cheese. Top with basil leaves, peach wedges, and pancetta. Cover evenly with the parmesan and gruyère. Season with salt and pepper. Place the top of the sandwich over the cheese to cover.
Brush both sides of the sandwich with the reserved pancetta fat.
Place the sandwich over indirect heat on a grill, which is at medium-high heat. Set the foil-wrapped brick on top of the sandwich to flatten. Close the grill for 8 minutes.
Open the grill, remove the brick, and flip the sandwich. Place the brick on top of the sandwich and close the grill's lid for another 8 minutes.
Open the lid and move the sandwich so that it is over direct heat. Grill for 30 seconds, flip, and grill for another 30 seconds to achieve pretty grill marks. The sandwich should be browned on the outside with melted cheese on the inside.
Remove from the grill and let rest for 1 minute. Slice into 4 pieces and enjoy immediately.