Insanely odd. Yes. Healthy? No. Not at all. I look at it as an adult version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Ha! Gee. It might even be sweeter than a regular pb&j. Psst. Don’t tell your kids that. We deserve to indulge in bad-for-you food every once in awhile. Right? Might as well. Whole wheat bread and part skim mozzarella counts for something? We’ll just convince ourselves we’re doing our body good.
Believe it or not, rosemary magically works with raspberry jam. It works with strawberry jam too. Don’t ask me how. The flavors just work. The brown sugar is actually part of the outer crust of the bread so it gets kind of crispy when you grill the panini. Sprinkle a smidgen of course salt before taking a bite to balance out the sweetness. You might just find yourself on a sugar rush ready to run around the block a few times.
Dried rosemary works perfectly fine for this sandwich. No need to waste money on a fresh sprig. If you rub the dried rosemary between your fingers, you can break them into small pieces instead of chopping it with a knife.
Ah yes. The good part. Brown sugar toast. Sprinkle the brown sugar on the butter side of the bread. Then use the back of a spoon and smear it into the butter so it sticks. This will make sure the brown sugar stays on the bread when you grill it.
Grill the brown sugar side face down first. Flip it over. The brown sugar just cooks into the butter and gets crispy. Warning. It’s sweet.
I like to sprinkle a pinch of coarse salt on top just to balance out the sweetness. Totally optional depending on your sweet tooth.
Raspberry, Brown Sugar, and Mozzarella Panini
adapted (just slightly) from Giada at Home
makes 1 sandwich
This sandwich is made in a saute pan. No need for a panini press. Feel free to use more jam and cheese depending on your preference. The jam and brown sugar add a rich sweetness to the sandwich. Sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt at the end to balance out the sweetness.
butter, for grilling the sandwich
2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon raspberry jam
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
2 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
coarse salt (optional) to balance out the sweetness
Butter one side of each bread slice. Spread the raspberry jam on the other side of each bread slice. Sprinkle the rosemary over the jam. Place the cheese on one of the bread slices and top with the other slice of bread, jam side down. Smear the brown sugar on the top bread slice using the back of a spoon, making sure it sticks to the butter.
In a saute pan or cast iron skillet, melt a pat of butter over medium heat. Add the panini, brown sugar side face down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Using a spatula, flip the sandwich over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, pressing down occasionally with a spatula, until golden and cheese is melted. Transfer to a plate. Cut the panini in half and sprinkle coarse salt on top (optional) and serve.