Mozzarella, Raspberry and Brown Sugar Panini

by Cate on July 6, 2009

Raspberry, Mozzarella and Brown Sugar Panini

“Mmm, Mozzarella, Raspberry and Brown Sugar Panini … doesn’t that sound good?”

[insert dead silence]

“Doesn’t it?  No?”

“Um, no,” came the answer.

There are a lot of odd flavor combinations that you would never think to put together but strangely work into something wonderfully delicious. Strawberries Pazzo is one that comes to mind.  Strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar?  When I first heard of the combination, I just may have wrinkled my nose a bit.  It sounds so … weird.  But in a strange and magical way, it just works.  So much so that it’s one of my favorite ways to eat strawberries, and it’s back on the menu tomorrow night for a little cocktail party.

A recent episode of Giada at Home introduced another strange flavor combination that I wouldn’t have thought of … Mozzarella, Raspberry and Brown Sugar Paninis.  I quickly scribbled down the ingredients and dug out the panini maker.  With raspberry preserves already on hand, and fresh mozzarella from a recent trip to the farmer’s market, I only needed the bread.

Like most paninis, it is a no-brainer to assemble the sandwiches.  Within just a few minutes, your tastebuds are rewarded in the very best possible way.  A nice crunch from the brown sugar crust that forms on the bread, the smooth creaminess of the mozzarella, the sweetness of the raspberry preserves and then the added ting from the rosemary.  While she was making the paninis, Giada mentioned that this was the type of snack she would eat as a kid after school.  Whether it’s an after-school snack, an appetizer for a get-together or just because, these are so good and worth dusting off your own panini maker.  Even more perfect as the weather starts to get warm, this is a great way to keep your kitchen cool.

Mozzarella, Raspberry and Brown Sugar Panini
Recipe courtesy of Giada at Home

  • 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices bakery-style white bread
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 8 ounces (2 balls) fresh mozzarella, drained and patted dry
  • Kosher salt, optional
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Special equipment: a panini press

Preheat the panini press.

Using a pastry brush, brush the bread on both sides with the oil. Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with the raspberry jam. Sprinkle the rosemary over the jam. Cut the mozzarella into 8 slices. Place 2 slices of cheese on 4 of the bread slices. Season the cheese with a pinch of salt, if using. Place the remaining slices of bread on top, jam-side down. Sprinkle the tops with the brown sugar. Press in the panini press for 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden and crispy.

Cut the panini in half and serve.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna July 7, 2009 at 7:42 am

I think this sounds so unique and I bet the flavor is just wonderful Definitely something one must try. It truly sounds fabulous!

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ciaochowlinda July 7, 2009 at 8:08 am

This sounds like a real treat – and easy too.

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Patsy Kreitman July 7, 2009 at 8:26 am

Oh, I’m definitely going to try this! I never would have thought to pull these ingredients together, but I imagine they must be amazing!

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Alana @ springpad July 7, 2009 at 8:44 am

What an interesting flavor combination. I’m going to have to try this!

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Starnesfam July 7, 2009 at 9:01 am

You had me at panini. And, Giada, come to think of it. My next culinary mission is sandwiches. I LOVE a good sandwich. Need to explore.

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Cathy July 7, 2009 at 9:03 am

I’m so making these! I tried her panini last year with brie, chocolate and honey – it was the best sandwich I had ever had. But since I’m more a fruit lover than a chocolate lover, I think this one could easily pass that.

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Joanne July 7, 2009 at 9:58 am

I actually thought this sounded awesome from the first instant. I mean, think of how good a Monte Cristo is dipped in raspberry jam. I really love sweet and salty combinations though, so I’m probably slightly biased.

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Debbie July 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

Sounds delicious. I think this would be a great appetizer!

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Jess July 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Very interesting combo. I have to say that I have loved every recipe that I have tried of Giada’s.

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ttfn300 July 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

sounds delicious to me!

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Claire July 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Actually, it sounds really yummy!!

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maris July 7, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I would love this! YUM. I think I would substitute cherry preserves for raspberry though. Not a big raspberry fan!

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kiss my spatula July 7, 2009 at 11:57 pm

any excuse to whip out the panini maker is fine by me! looking forward to trying this one – they look dee-lish.

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pamela July 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Oh, yeah! This sounds fantastic to me! I would totally love one, any time of day. Thanks for sharing!

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paula July 9, 2009 at 10:12 am

This sounds fantastic to me too.

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Aggie July 9, 2009 at 8:02 pm

What an interesting combination! Sounds delicious! Thanks for visiting my blog…I’m loving yours!! :)

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