This recipe is a seasonal twist on any ooey, gooey Panini melt sandwich. Sautéed quince (which is like an aromatic pear) is layered with sharp cheddar cheese and a horseradish-infused cabbage slaw, and it’s cooked Panini-style into total autumnal comfort.
Pretzel Panini With Quince, Cheddar, and Horseradish Slaw
Makes 2 sandwiches
1 ½ cups grated green cabbage (from about ¼ head)
½ cup grated parsnip (from about 1 small)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 quince, cored, sliced
Butter, softened, as needed
2 pretzel rolls or baguettes, halved
¼ pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
To prepare the slaw: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat. (Can be made 1 day ahead and kept in refrigerator until serving.)
To prepare the quince: Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add quince and cook until golden brown and softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. When very tender when pierced with a fork, remove from heat.
To prepare the sandwich: Heat a large skillet over medium. Smear a small bit of butter on the cut side of each pretzel baguette. Place butter-side down on hot skillet; cook until a light golden crust forms on the bread.
Flip bread over. Arrange the following on half of the bread: sliced cheese, cooked quince,slaw, and sliced cheese again. Top with remaining bread half.
Add a small bit of butter (about 1 teaspoon) to skillet; swirl until melted. Heat each composed sandwich, Panini-style, in hot butter until cheese melts, pressing down with a spatula. Flip sandwiches over after a minute or two, and cover with a lid for a minute to help increase the cheese melting process.
When cheese is melted and pretzel bread is golden brown, serve immediately.
All images by Kimberley Stakal