Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Paninis

Yesterday was Jameson’s third birthday. That means he’s 21 in dog years. Should I get him some Bowser Beer? He found this plush soccer ball during our walk yesterday evening, and he carried it the whole way home. I told him he could keep it since he worked so hard for it.

About 30 seconds after this photo was taken the ball was destroyed. Oh well, at least he had a good birthday.

While Jameson was destroying his new found toy, Dan, Katie, Patrick and I got busy in the kitchen. I got this recipe for Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Panini from a great blog I read, Cookie and Kate. I hope she doesn’t mind me reblogging with my triumphs and failures 🙂

This was the PERFECT hot summer night meal. It didn’t take long (the longest part was the glaze and that took 15 minutes), and it was lite but still filling, and of course, delicious. It also gave me an awesome excuse to use fresh basil from my garden and OD on strawberries.

Thanks to Dan for being a great photographer. I think I figured out that the only way I’ll successfully take pictures while cooking is if I have a helper. D – you’re hired!

To make these awesome sandwiches is super easy. Bread+goat cheese+basil+strawberries+salt&pepper+grill. Here is the real recipe, if anyone is interested:

What you need:


  • 2 slices of any bread of your choice. (I used Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat because it’s nice and thin so it grills up easily.)
  • Goat cheese. The original recipe calls for 1.5 oz, but I say, use however much you want! You can never have too much cheese! I will say though, get spreadable or a block – do not get crumbles. Makes the job much more difficult…
  • 3-4 strawberries per sandwich, sliced
  • 3-4 basil leaves per sandwich. I kept mine hole but you could chop them
  • Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil

Red Wine Vinegar Honey Sauce

  • 2/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Honey

*Note* The original recipe calls for balsamic vinegar instead of red wine. I freaked out because I could have SWORN I had balsamic vinegar, when apparently I only had red wine vinegar. I tried it anyway and it was still delicious. Improvise!


1. Slather both sides of your bread with goat cheese and layer one side with strawberries and the other side with basil. (This is where having spreadable goat cheese would have been helpful…) Sprinkle both sides with black pepper to taste. Combine to assemble your sandwich

2. Rig up a ghetto Panini maker by heating a skillet over medium heat. I used olive oil here, but you can use butter too if you like. Once the skillet is hot and the oil has had time to warm, place the sandwich(es) on the skillet and cover with a plate or something else heavy. I weighed my plate down by putting cans on top of it. Cook until the bottom slice is lightly browned (2-3 minutes) and then flip and repeat. I added some extra oil each flip to prevent stickage.

Told you it was ghetto. But it worked like a charm!

3. To make the honey sauce, combine vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring constantly (thanks Kate) until the liquid is  reduced and syrupy. This took about 15 minutes.

Drizzle over your sandwich or dip, and use the rest for strawberries and/or icecream!

As a side dish I made this super delicious Grilled Corn and Queso Fresco Salad. This was great as a side, but would have been awesome as a dip, too. I didn’t change anything, so I’ll let you venture to the site to read about it. But it was awesome. It will be making a repeat appearance tonight.

And that was dinner! What’s your favorite summertime meal? I’d love more ideas! Leave them in the comments.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking, Puppies, Recipes

One response to “Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Paninis

  1. Kate

    Looks like your paninis turned out great! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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