Walnut, Pear, And Prosciutto Panini

Toasted panini on cutting board
Toasted panini on cutting board - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

The panini stands as an epitome of culinary fusion, seamlessly blending delicious flavors and textures. Whether it's a summery eggplant panini or a classic Cuban sandwich, these tasty sandwiches have just the right amount of crunch. For fall, we love to combine the flavors of walnuts and pears, two ingredients that have long been celebrated for their natural ability to taste great together. The earthy, nutty crunch of walnuts juxtaposed against the juicy, sweet notes of ripe pears offers a delightful contrast of texture and taste.

To incorporate this flavor duo into a sandwich, recipe developer Taylor Murray whipped up a walnut pesto that can be drizzled over pears and cheese. For the cheese, a rich, creamy burrata provides a luscious counterpoint, its soft texture melting gently into the warmth of the toasted bread, while the salty, delicate ribbons of prosciutto add depth and savoriness. Together, these ingredients come together to form a sandwich that's elegant enough to impress guests (or at least liven up a midweek lunch).

Read more: The 30 Absolute Best Ingredients To Elevate Salads

Gather The Ingredients For This Walnut, Pear, And Prosciutto Panini

Ingredients for walnut proscuitto panini
Ingredients for walnut proscuitto panini - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Like all paninis, the foundational ingredient is bread. Choose something rustic and hardy, like a sourdough or ciabatta bread. This will stand up to the moisture from the other ingredients. The cheese in this panini is going to be burrata, though if you want something a bit more cost-effective and easy to find, simple mozzarella will work as well. You also need some ripe pears and sliced prosciutto. For the walnut sauce, you're going to be making a mixture of parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, and toasted walnuts.

Make The Pesto

Making walnut pesto
Making walnut pesto - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

The delicious, toasty flavor of walnuts goes perfectly with pear and prosciutto. To incorporate it into a sandwich, we're going to make it into a sauce. This sauce is sort of like a pesto without the herbs.

In a blender, combine the toasted walnuts with the cheese, garlic, and olive oil. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a small bowl. "I went with a walnut pesto over something creamy like you would see in a Lingurian pasta dish because we already have a creamy note in the burrata. This sauce brings a nice nutty, cheesy flavor without weighing the other ingredients down," says Murray.

Build The Sandwich

Sliced prosciutto on bread
Sliced prosciutto on bread - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Heat a panini press to medium heat. Place the two slices on a cutting board. Layer the slices of prosciutto on one slice of the bread. Instead of laying the slices straight down on the bread, try to ripple them a bit. This will give the final sandwich a more pleasing texture to bite through.

Add The Pear

Sliced pear on proscuitto sandwich
Sliced pear on proscuitto sandwich - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Thinly slice a pear and place the slices on top of the prosciutto. The pear should be sliced about 1/8 of an inch thick. You may not end up using an entire pear, but more likely about half a pear will be enough.

Add The Cheese And Pesto

Burrata and pesto on sandwich
Burrata and pesto on sandwich - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Break open the ball of burrata (you may want to do this in a small bowl to contain any liquid). Spread the burrata over the pear in an even layer. Again, you may not need all the cheese. If you are using mozzarella instead, 2 or 3 slices should be plenty. Drizzle some of the walnut pesto over the cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top.

Cook The Panini

Toasted panini on grill
Toasted panini on grill - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Brush the bread with olive oil and place on the grill. Brush the remaining side and close the panini press. Cook until the bread is golden brown and crisp, about 4 or 5 minutes. Transfer it to a cutting board and cut it in half before consuming it immediately. Due to the delicate nature of paninis, the texture does not stand up to holding for any period of time, and for this particular sandwich, that is especially so due to the moist burrata and juicy pears.

This panini makes an excellent lunch or light dinner. "I like to serve this with a tart mixed green salad or some French fries if the mood strikes," says Murray. You won't end up using all the walnut pesto, but there are so many ways you can enjoy it. If you add a splash of vinegar, you have a salad dressing ready to go. This sauce could also make a nice, light pasta sauce, especially if you add some torn herbs or sliced tomatoes.

Walnut, Pear, And Prosciutto Panini

Sliced walnut proscuitto sandwich
Sliced walnut proscuitto sandwich - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 5mCook Time: 5mYield: 1 SandwichIngredients

  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • 2 slices crusty sourdough bread

  • 3 slices proscuitto

  • 1 pear, sliced

  • 1 ball burrata


  1. In a blender, combine walnuts, cheese, garlic, and olive oil. Blend until smooth.

  2. Heat a panini press to medium heat.

  3. Take one slice of bread and top with prosciutto.

  4. Slice the pear and place a few slices on top of the prosciutto.

  5. Break open the burrata and spread it over the pear slices. Drizzle some of the walnut pesto over the top of the cheese.

  6. Place the remaining slice of bread on top and brush with olive oil.

  7. Place the sandwich on the grill and brush the other side with olive oil. Cook until bread is golden brown and toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.

  8. Remove from the grill and cut in half. Serve immediately.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.