This weeks Chopped Challenge was made especially special because it was the first challenge that my dad contributed an ingredient to! His contribution to the mystery basket was dates, one of our families favorite fruits! In addition to dates, Renee Vaughan added tomato paste, Cassie Vaughn added turnip greens and Thomas Kamakani Jr added pastrami!
It just so happens that my one purchase on black friday was a Panini Press, which I was beyond excited about! It’s been on my “want” list for a while and I was so excited to get this $50 piece of amazingness for $9.99 on friday!
So obviously this weeks Chopped Challenge had to be a panini! I turned these 4 ingredients into a Pastrami Panini with a Sweet Tomato Spread, Turnip Greens and Blue Cheese Rosemary Stuffed Dates.
Ingredients (makes 2 paninis)
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sweet tomato spread (ingredients below)
- 1/4 cup southern style greens (collard, turnip & kale)
- 4 oz pastrami
- 4 dates (pitted)
- 2 tbsp blue cheese
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
Sweet Tomato Spread
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
Prepare the tomato spread by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Next, spread the tops of each slice of bread with olive oil. Flip then spread the sweet tomato spread on the other side.
Top each slice with the southern greens and pastrami.
Next, combine the blue cheese and rosemary, then stuff the mixture inside the dates. Place two dates on one half of each sandwich.
Place the other half of the sandwich on top and set the sandwiches in the panini press.
Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes then remove from the press and serve!
The combination of sweet dates, the savory blue cheese rosemary combination and the herb crusted pastrami was so ridiculously delicious!
I’m not going to lie, I might eat this sandwich every day for the rest of the week!
Now slice it open and dig in!
♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the pastrami and replace with extra veggies such as caramelized onions and roasted red peppers for a vegetarian twist to this dish.
♦ Gluten Free Option: When gluten-free bread is used, this recipe is gluten-free.