Here's proof that you can craft an elegant appetizer using nothing but a panini press.
This recipe uses halloumi, a Greek cheese that stands up to the heat of the press. Unlike most cheeses, halloumi will soften but not melt under heat. This makes it ideal for grilling directly on the panini press. The cheese also can be broiled or grilled on a traditional gas or charcoal grill.
This recipe calls for arranging all of the grilled ingredients on a platter and letting your guests assemble their own. Alternatively, top each slice of bread with a bit of the cheese and a slice of apple, then garnish each with the basil, pepper and honey.
Grilled Halloumi, Apple and Honey
Start to finish: 15 minutes
1 firm, tart apple (such as Granny Smith), quartered and cored
8-ounce package halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
Ground black pepper, to taste
Slices of crusty bread, to serve
Heat a panini press or countertop grill to medium-high.
Slice each apple quarter into 3 slices. Arrange the slices on the grill, lower the top and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender and lightly browned on the outside. Arrange the slices on a serving platter.
Use a paper towel to wipe the grill to remove any moisture left by the apples. Add the cheese slices, lower the top and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange the cheese slices on the platter with the apples.
Drizzle the apples and cheese with the honey, then sprinkle with basil and pepper. Serve with the bread.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 398 calories; 212 calories from fat (53 percent of total calories); 24 g fat (14 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 57 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 20 g protein; 2 g fiber; 1,012 mg sodium.