Pesto, Plum and Fontina Panini


Pesto, Plum and Fontina Panini is garlicky, tart, and cheesy. An incredible panini combination!


Do you believe in love at first sight?

You know, the feeling you get when you first lay eyes on that special someone, sparks fly and you know you’re meant to be together forever?


Sorry to be a Debby Downer but, I don’t.


I know, I know. Wah, wahhhh… ;)

I personally believe you can’t fully love someone until you know what’s all up in the inside of the outside. Take Ben, for instance. I’ve known Ben since we were in Kindergarten and have always thought he was a little hottie.



“Babe, don’t show that!” he’d probably say if he were sitting here with me. But guess what? He’s not. He’s at work. Ha!

It wasn’t until we started dating the summer before our senior year of college that I got to see past the awfully nice exterior, and really get to know the hysterical, quirky, smart, thoughtful, gentlemanly interior.

Picture 160 Picture 161

Picture 162 Picture 163

And that’s when I fell head over heels in luuuuuurve.


The same rationale applies to tonight’s dinner. True, it looked pretty great on the outside, but when I really got to know it – when I sunk my teeth straight into the middle of that crispy, gooey Pesto, Plum & Fontina Panini – it was game over!

This might be my favorite Panini to date. No, for realsies.


Fresh Asiago Cheese & Sundried Tomato Bread hugs garlicky pesto, sweet & sour plums and a thick layer of melty fontina cheese, which is griddled to Panini perfection.


Pesto, Plum & Fontina Panini

Makes 4 sandwiches


Pesto, Plum and Fontina Panini is garlicky, tart, and cheesy. An incredible panini combination!


  • 8 slices of bread (I used Great Harvest Asiago Cheese & Sundried Tomato Bread)
  • 2 plums, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices fontina cheese
  • butter
  • For the pesto:
    • 20-25 fresh basil leaves
    • 2 Tablespoons walnuts
    • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
    • 1 garlic clove
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Combine the basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely ground. Stream in EVOO and pulse until smooth.
  2. Butter the outsides of two slices of bread, then lay them butter side down on a cutting board. Smear pesto on both slices, then layer on plums and fontina cheese. Press the bread together so the butter is on the outside and the pesto is on the inside, then repeat to make remaining sandwiches.
  3. Place sandwiches in a Griddler preheated to high, and cook until golden brown, ~3-4 minutes. Alternatively, cook in a heated skillet on both sides until golden brown.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


Slice, then call your best friend to tell her how excited you are about your new relationship with this sandwich!!!!


I was this close to adding bacon in here and I’m so glad I didn’t. The fresh pesto, plums and melted fontina just tasted so pure. The bacon would have totally muddled it up.


And honestly? I think I’m breaking up with every other bread on the planet. This Asiago Cheese & Sundried Tomato bread was INsane. Look at the cheese pockets I found when slicing into it!


Yeeeep. Me and this Pesto, Plum & Fontina Panini? Well, I think we’re about to become Facebook official.


Good thing Ben’s not the jealous type. ;)



Ok, so just because I don’t believe in love at first sight, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Has anyone ever experienced LAFS, and have it work out?

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  1. elizabeth 07.27.2011

    awe this is such a sweet post!

  2. YUM!
    And I love the story of you and Ben – too cute! :)

  3. What a hottie, is right! ;) I WANT this sandwich! Love me a juicy plum!

  4. James 07.27.2011

    As soon as I saw this tweet I told myself not to open it because I knew I’d re-route my drive home to get the materials since I just made pesto last night. Alas, I peeked. Looks delicious and now I can’t wait to get home to cook!

  5. debbie 07.27.2011

    ehh, I don’t believe in love at first sight either. How can you fall in love if you don’t even KNOW the ins and outs of a person?

    that panini looks to die for, no joke.

  6. erica 07.27.2011

    i need one of those griddler machines, those sandwiches look amazing!!! :)
    i’m always scared of mixing fruit in sandwiches. i don’t know why i find it daunting.

    LAFS: my dog. ;p

  7. Sammi 07.27.2011

    LAFS: my baby. for sure! instant intense love!

  8. Ryah 07.27.2011

    You and Ben have such a cute story! I didn’t know that you guys had known each other for so long. I’ve known my boyfriend since high school but we didn’t start dating until the summer before our sophomore year of college. (We’ll be done with school in December 2012.) I also don’t believe in love at first sight. Infatuation at first sight, yes. Love, no. It takes time.

  9. Melissa 07.27.2011

    Is that picture of Ben picking you up and shaking the change out of your pockets? ;)

    I don’t believe in love at first sight. Chemical attraction? Ok. Yeah. But not love. You can’t love what you don’t know. So says me.

  10. That sandwich looks insanely GOOD!!!

  11. Rachel 07.27.2011

    My son is the only person I’ve experienced LAFS with….I’d “known” my husband for close to 10 years before we got together (we met online).

  12. Emily 07.27.2011

    I didn’t know you and Ben knew each other since kindergarten! That makes me love y’all even more, SO cute!

  13. Tammy 07.27.2011

    I’m too old to believe in love at first sight now! lol. I do believe you need to get to know someone awhile and get to know them and eventually love will find its way if meant to be.

  14. Angie 07.27.2011

    Can I say I believe in love at first meeting? I knew about four hours into our first date that my husband was the one for me. We had communicated a little since we met on eharmony… but that was only for a week before our date.

  15. Mac 07.27.2011

    Sadly I don’t believe in love at first site either… I especially think that since I am pretty sure I found “the one” and we did not fall in love the first time we saw each other.

  16. Kim 07.27.2011

    I love the Cedar Falls pictures! I lived on Merner a couple houses up the hill toward 23rd Street for a year… aw memories! :) You guys are so cute!

  17. Mmm, I am loving the interesting combo of flavors in this panini! I’ve got an interesting fruit/cheese combo recipe going up tomorrow – mango margherita pizza! It amazes me how the strangest combinations can be so good.

    Gosh, I really wish I had a GH near me!

  18. krista 07.27.2011

    That’s so cool that you’d known him so long! The first time I met my boyfriend was at dinner (in, uh, the college dining hall, hah!) and I thought he was a major jerk– quiet, hat on backwards, acting like a know-it-all! Later on, though, we got to taking a walk and found out how much we oddly enough have in common! So maybe not love at first sight, but love is also about circumstances. :)

  19. waittt im dying. ben is literally wearing the exact same outfit in the philly pic as he was in the 4 of you guys when you were younger. love it! btw, i agree with you on the whole lurve thing :)

  20. Amy 07.27.2011

    I’ve had infatuation at first meeting. Twice. Both times it bombed, something fierce. The first time, the guy turned out to have a girlfriend and neglected to mention it until she came to visit (eeps!) and the second time, while the guy was into me, I was way more into him and he was a bit of a flake – I got stood up a couple times (the fact I let him do it more than once tells ya how head over heels I was, oy!).

    Sandwich looks great!!! I may have to try that bread – yummy!!!

  21. Lindsey 07.27.2011

    That is a combo I never would have thought of, but I am drooling now ;)
    Though I did love the look of my hubby the first time I saw him, I definitely feel really in love after getting to know him!

  22. Bridget 07.27.2011

    Cute pictures of you two in CF! I’ve walked that road a few times myself visiting the hubs at school. He was just my boyfriend then but such a fun place!

    I had LAFS with my children. You don’t know it exists until you have your own. :) *hint*hint*

  23. The first time I saw my husband, it wasn’t love at first sight… but I did become a stalker. Probably doesn’t help that I was three sheets to the wind. I followed him around at a party for a solid three hours grabbing his butt and telling him how awesome it/he was.

    It obviously took him A WHILE to even want to spend time with me. Cause I’m a super creepy wino on the outside… and a slightly less creepy wino on the inside.

    Aaaand that’s our love story.

  24. Luv What You Do 07.27.2011

    What a unqiue combo….looks great and makes me want to bust out my panini press.

    BTW, we have the same picture in Philly. Very fun!

  25. Dawn Marie 07.27.2011

    Only with my pets have I experienced lafs and had it work out. ;-)

    Cutie Patootie!!!

  26. angie 07.27.2011

    do you have any idea how much i love you??!!? for reals. i made your last nights dinner tonight and guess what??? your tonight’s dinner will be on our table tomorrow….haha!

    also here’s a little sumthin sumthin for you to try:


  27. anna 07.27.2011

    You can definitely fall head over heels for someone at first sight… but true love takes longer.

    Also, it’s cracking me up that you linked your love for Ben to this sandwich. It must be good!

    Walnuts in pesto?? What in the? Just kidding… I’ve used almonds before.

  28. Caylie M 07.28.2011

    I agree with everyone who says they experience LAFS with their children. Definitely felt that way when my daughter was born.
    As for the hubby – I had intense feelings when I met him… but love took a little more time. Although – he told his mom that I was the one after our first date….. so maybe he believes in LAFS??

  29. Charis 07.28.2011

    This is very cute!
    And the sandwich looks super good…yummm

  30. Meredith 07.28.2011

    When we move back to the States next month, top on my list to purchase other than the necessary washer, dryer, and fridge, are a waffle maker and that sandwich press. The sandwich thing could help save money that would otherwise be spent at Panera.
    When I first met my husband, it was lust at first sight. We dated long distance for at least 1 year until I moved in with him and we eventually married and have lived happily ever after. ;)

  31. Juani 07.28.2011

    In all honesty,I don’t believe in love at first sight or in soulmates.Some people might call me boring for feeling this way,but I believe that being in love can happen to anyone,and probably instantaneously after meeting them,but actual LOVE is something that comes from years of going through life together.And I’m not saying people can’t be soulmates,but just because you think you’re ‘meant to be’ doesn’t mean you’ve got a guarantee for an easy life together.Even the best relationships take work,and anyone who says they never fight with their significant other is not to be trusted,or is obviously a robot from outer space.

  32. Linda 07.28.2011

    I agree with the “infatuation at first sight”, but not true love at first sight. I was infatuated the first time I met my husband walking home from school my sophmore year of college. We started talking and discovered we were neighbors. We casually dated through college, then he graduated and we went our separate ways. We stayed friends and continued to see each other off and on over the years. Finally, 15 years after we met we got married and now have a baby girl. I always new he was the one since that day I met him walking home from school….

  33. Hope 07.28.2011

    Aw! I think it’s so cute that you and Ben met at such a young age! So sweet! That panini looks so delicious! :)

  34. Such a cute post. I don’t believe in LAFS either but when love grows, it’s pretty darn amazing. I love me an IOWA boy ;)

  35. Micah 07.28.2011

    I don’t believe in love at first sight either. I think someone’s personality, humor and quirks are part of the package required to fall in love. I also don’t fully subscribe to the idea that there’s someone for everyone. I wish I did, but I just don’t. I think some people will always be alone, and that’s not bad, but it doesn’t mean they missed out either.

  36. Fruit + Cheese = HEAVEN. This is excellent!

  37. Karin 07.28.2011

    Yep, I believe in love at first sight too. I met my hubbie online in 1999. We shared e-mails, and talked on the phone and then met at a local restaurant. Today, he still insists, he knew I was the one that night. I kinda thought he was the one too. We just hit it off.

  38. AJ 07.28.2011

    I don’t believe in LAFS b/n women and men. I do believe it can occur between a parent and a child.

  39. Sarah 07.28.2011

    I will be making this immediately. Looks so good!!!

  40. Erica 07.28.2011

    Here is a quote from one of my friends “Lust at first sight, Like at first date, and Love if your lucky” I think that sums it up!

  41. Julie S. 07.28.2011

    Kristin, you’re hilarious! Your posts are always so creative & entertaining. So true about LAFS between parent & child… otherwise not a believer. Lust at 1st sight maybe…

  42. Betsy 07.28.2011

    That is the most delicious looking panini I have ever seen!

  43. Oh Perfect! I see Plums EVERYWHERE! And am tempted to buy them at the Farmers Market but I never know what to put them in! This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing this creative blend of flavors!!! :-)

  44. Great post and I especially loved reading all the comments!
    I have to say: I definitely believe in love at first sight. The first time I saw my (now) husband, I remember getting all flushed, and sweaty, and could barely make eye contact with him. Honestly!
    We started dating soon after and have been married for a year and a half.
    Thanks – perfect post-lunch read :)

  45. jen 07.28.2011

    I wouldn’t say that I fell in love with my husband at first sight, but I absolutely knew I had to know him. I had a very strong sense upon laying eyes on him that he was an important person in my life. Sounds strange, but absolutely honest!

  46. Emilie 07.28.2011

    I just had a big lunch and I STILL want that sandwich!!!

  47. Megan 07.28.2011

    I don’t necessarily believe in it…but my mom swears by it! She and my dad were set up for a blind date (my my mom’s dad of all people!) and she says she knew the instant she saw my dad that he was the one. …but it took him a while to figure it out. Now they’ll be celebrating their 27th anniversary next month :) :)

  48. Rachael 07.28.2011

    Love at first sight isn’t something I believe in. Except with children, but for me it was love at first positive pregnancy test.

  49. Cristy 07.28.2011

    I can’t wait for my hubby to return from Italy (I know…poor thing…) so we can fire up the panini maker and have these! YUM!!!

    You and Ben are the cutest couple on the planet.

  50. Em 07.28.2011

    YUM! Lately I’m really into roasting a whole giant bulb of garlic until it’s all squishy and yummy. It seems to work well in pesto! But really – any form of garlic and basil mixed together is tasty!

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