Warm Panini with Taleggio, Grilled Radicchio, and Speck

Panini, like sandwiches everywhere, invite the maker to branch out in creative directions. This combination brings together several strong-willed ingredients, all shouting, “Taste me!” Fortunately, their insistent voices harmonize in these warm, delicious panini.–Toni Lydecker

LC Panini Powwow Note

We’re chuckling at the notion of “several strong-willed ingredients, all shouting, ‘Taste me!’” While we certainly swoon to this collision of highly personable ingredients, we dare say, these aren’t the only bold flavors to work well with one another in panini form. The options are mind-boggling. Feel free to disclose your tried-and-true sandwich tactics in a comment below. In the meantime, if you’re shaking your head in disappointment, muttering to yourself, “Damn! If only I had a panini maker…,” stop right there and read this recipe. No panini maker required. See how easy that disappointment was quelled? You’re welcome.

Panini with Taleggio, Radicchio, and Speck Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 4

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small to medium head radicchio, cored and shredded
  • 1 loaf Ciabatta or a long baguette
  • 8 ounces Taleggio or soft Gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, broken into pieces
  • 4 to 6 ounces thinly sliced speck, prosciutto, mortadella, or some of each

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  • 2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in just enough olive oil to barely coat the surface. Scatter the radicchio in the skillet and cook, stirring a couple of times, until the leaves are barely wilted and lightly charred at the edges, about 2 minutes.
  • 3. Using a serrated knife, slice the bread in half horizontally. (Ciabatta and baguette typically have more crust than crumb, but if your loaf has a good deal of crumb inside, use your fingers to tear most of it out and reserve it for another purpose, such as making bread crumbs.)
  • 4. Spread the cheese over both cut sides of the loaf. Sprinkle one or both sides of the loaf with the walnuts. Place the radicchio on one half of the loaf, top with the sliced meat, and sandwich with the other half. Press gently and wrap the sandwich loaf in aluminum foil. (You can refrigerate the sandwich for up to several hours.).
  • 5. Bake the sandwich loaf until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut it crosswise to create 4 panini. Serve hot, while the cheese is oozy and the walnuts still crunchy and the radicchio not yet entirely wilted.

Panini Variation

  • You can make a toasted version of this sandwich using sliced country-style white or whole wheat bread. Just assemble as above, heat a little olive oil in a skillet, and toast the sandwiches, turning once, until golden brown on each side.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Dan Kraan

Jan 28, 2013

“It’s just a sandwich,” you might think. However, this has the salty texture of cured meats, the earthy crunch of walnuts, and the bittersweet touch of radicchio, all held together by oozing Taleggio. No, this is definitely more than “just a sandwich.” You could use regular ciabatta, but I think that two mini ciabatta have the better feel for a custom sandwich. I managed to find a whole grain version that added a bit more texture and opted to use all three meats. I’m a pushover for a great sub, which this is, basically.

Testers Choice
Tamiko Lagerwaard

Jan 28, 2013

This was an easy, quick, and quite tasty sandwich. I appreciated the slight bitterness from the radicchio, and the slight sweetness of the walnuts was wonderful. I initially thought they’d be distracting in the sandwich, but their presence was quite welcome. Speck was a bit hard to find, so I opted for the easier prosciutto, which made for a fine bit of salty goodness. Loved the crispy crunch of the crusty bread sans the bready parts and the earthy gooeyness of the Taleggio, which was a perfect cheese for this sandwich. I loved the easy assembly as a whole (although I plonked everything on one side and then just topped with the other half of bread)—make ahead, bake later, and then cut into parts—as well. It might be nice smeared with a bit of pesto prior to baking as well. This would be a good game-day or holiday open house sandwich to have on hand.

Testers Choice
Ayanna Fews

Jan 28, 2013

This was a very interesting and good sandwich. I couldn’t find the cheese that the recipe calls for, so I used Cambozola cheese, which is a creamy blue cheese–like cheese, so I thought it’d work. I also couldn’t find speck, so I used prosciutto. I really liked the way all the flavors and textures came together. This was a new cheese for me and a new flavor combo with the radicchio and prosciutto. I opted to make the variation of the sandwich (i.e., toasted) and that worked well. I used some good whole wheat bread and because I had all the ingredients, I ate the sandwich a couple times over a week. One thing that I think would be a nice addition to this sandwich would be some apple slices or pear slices, or maybe it should just be eaten with an apple or pear, to cut the richness of the sandwich a bit. This will definitely be a new go-to version for when I’m craving a grilled cheese!

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Jan 28, 2013

An easy weekend lunch filled with taste and extremely filling. I used ciabatta rolls. I did all of the panini according to the directions, although my daughters aren’t fans of Taleggio, so I substituted brie slices. Everyone absolutely loved the panini and asked for this to become a weekend staple. The nice thing about it is that it can so very easily be adjusted to people’s different tastes yet still end up an amazing sandwich. We’d 3 leftover and when we warmed them in the oven again they came out just as good as the first time.

Comments
Comments
  1. Jamie says:

    Oh, my, Italy on a bun! What a glorious combination of flavors! I do think these strong flavors would match up and complement each other so beautifully! We love these typical Italian ingredients but I’ve never thought to bring them together on a panini but now I do.

    • David Leite says:

      And when you do, dear Jamie, let us know what you think. (But, honestly, how can you not love it, right?!)

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