I'm always looking for unexpected things to put between two slices of bread, so when GiggleSugar let me taste her asparagus panini the other day, I couldn't wait to create a similar concoction. The secret, she said, was truffle-infused Parmesan cheese she got at Bristol Farms, so I picked some up and put together my own version of the sammie.
Asparagus is both in season right now and good for you, and today's 'Wich of the Week combines the yummy Spring vegetable with equally bold cheese. The strong flavor combination is balanced out by cold-cut roasted chicken, wheat bread, and balsamic reduction sauce. For the recipe and step-by-step instructions,
1/2 bunch fresh asparagus
4 slices of wheat bread
1/4 lb. thin-sliced cold-cut roasted chicken
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 very thin slices of truffle-infused Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Makes 2 sandwiches.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- After washing the asparagus, trim the thicker, rough ends and discard. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.
- In a small saucepan over very low heat, slowly heat the balsamic vinegar, stirring occasionally, until it's reduced by about two-thirds. Set aside and let cool.
- Coat one side of each slice of bread with the balsamic reduction sauce, spreading just enough to cover the surface of the bread.
- On each of the two bottom slices, divide the chicken and lay the slices flat over the balsamic spread.
- Evenly divide the asparagus between the two sandwiches and lay the spears side by side atop the chicken.
- Gently lay the thin slices of cheese on top of the asparagus, and cover each sandwich with the remaining two slices of bread, vinegar side down.
- Place in a panini press and cook for about five minutes, until cheese is melted and bread is lightly browned. (If you don't own a panini maker, you can place the sandwiches on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven, and cover with a cast-iron skillet to press. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.)
- Main Dishes, Sandwiches