Bacon, Apple, and Fontina Panini with Roasted Sweet Potato “Salad”

Bacon and cheese? Sweet potatoes, chipotle, and cranberries~ YES PLEASE!!!

I have to say that Cooking Light is my absolute favorite guilty reading pleasure. When IF I can find the time to read for pleasure, it’s the first thing I pick up. This month’s issue featured a “Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberry-Chipotle Dressing” by Mark Bittman. I’m a big Bittman fan. He preaches whole REAL foods and balance. His approach to food fits very well with in my own food “paradigm”

And no, the bacon & cheese panini is NOT a light recipe ~ but that’s what makes it yummy, right?

For this particular panini I decided to take an american twist on the meat, bacon instead of it’s costly counterpart pancetta. I know I know, and authentic panini would never use bacon. But the extra smokiness is oh so good. And the price, well, you can’t beat it!

6 Sandwiches

  • 12 slices of good quality, hearty bread (we bought a loaf at Kroger)
  • 1 package (12 piece) of bacon
  • 1 honey crisp apple, very thinly sliced
  • 6-7 oz package of fontina cheese, sliced

Assemble sandwiches & grill on panini press (or george forman grill or in a regular pan with a plate & then a heavy can on top)

No oil/butter needed!!

*If I were to do this again, I might add a “sauce” after the fact… I think an apple butter would be WONDERFUL! I love fall


My folks got me…ehm…us a panini press for Christmas last year. I love it!! It’s an easy way to make a quick sandwich seem elegant and guest-worthy. Also, it reminds me of Italy. When I was a senior in high school we traveled to Italy for choir. I still remember the sounds and smells of the cities, Rome in particular. On almost every street corner you would see vendors selling paninis off their food trucks. They were gooey, steamy, and amazing. Love at first bite!!

The sweet potato dish was equally as yummy


I modified the recipe slightly~ here’s my revised version below!

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, and cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 3/4 c. whole frozen cranberries (or fresh when available)
  • 1/4 c. water, plus about another 1/4 c. at the end
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 small can chipotle chiles in adobe sauce (You will only use a tiny bit of this)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 3-4 green onions, diced

Toss the diced, peeled sweet potatoes with a touch of olive oil (approx 1-2 tbsp), pepper, and cinnamon. Spread out on a jelly roll pan or baking sheet & roast at 450 for 30-45 minutes turning at least once. The original recipe said 30 min but I wanted a brown edge on my tots 🙂 Once they come out of the oven, you can sprinkle with salt. I like to salt my potatoes at the end of baking so that the salt doesn’t draw out the moisture in the potato and make them stick to the pan.

While the tots are baking ~ combine the cranberries, water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, cinnamon in a small sauce pan. Open chipotle chilies and mince one chili finely. Add the chili & 2 tsp of the adobe sauce to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and cook on medium/low for approx 10 minutes until cramberries have popped. I added a little more water at the end of the cooking process to thin the sauce out a bit. Maybe 1/4 cup a tbsp at a time… Mash the sauce ingredients until everything is well incorporated.

Toast the pumpkin seeds dry in a pan for a few minutes until fragarent.

Combine the potatoes, cran mixture, pumpkin seeds, and green onions in a dish and toss to coat.

I personally like this served warm. 🙂

** You can add more/less chipotle chilies and adobe sauce depending on your tolerance for heat!!



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Filed under Main Course, Side dishes

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