Spache the Spatula

Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini

This sandwich may sound a bit odd, but I promise it’s so frickin’ yummy.

Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipeAlso yes, I am posting two recipes using shaved asparagus in a row. But, it totally makes sense because my Asparagus Gruyere Pizza with Garlicky Whipped Ricotta only uses half a bunch of shaved asparagus. Just shave up the whole bunch, and make the pizza and these sandwiches!

By the way, I can’t get enough cherries right now. They’re so sweet, and juicy, and unbelievably delicious! I seriously have 2 more pounds of them in my fridge (more Bing, and Rainier), so you should expect more cherry recipes from me in the near future. And, not to get you super excited about something that’s 2 months away, but I made a really awesome cherry dessert recipe for Food Fanatic this weekend that will show up in August.

Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipe Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipeOkay, but this sandwich.

There’s fresh, juicy cherries mixed with lemon zest and balsamic vinegar.

There’s asparagus ribbons tossed with fresh mint, fresh basil, and one of the most delicious ingredients, ever—pistachio oil. (Yes, you should buy some even though it’s a bit pricey. Make this sandwich. Then make these tartines/salad. Then make this salad. Then tell me how I just improved your life, drastically.)

There’s creamy ricotta AND gooey, melty fresh mozzarella.

There’s crispy, crunchy pressed multigrain baguette. (Um, WHY are the take-and-bake baguettes from Fred Meyer so life-changingly amazing?!)

It’s just the bee’s knees, you guys. Every bite is the perfect bite. I ate it for dinner, then made it the next day for lunch. I’ll probably be making it for lunch again today because I’m full-on obsessed.

Oh, and Mikey liked it, which is cool because he’s not really into sandwiches with no meat on them. So yeah, score!

Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipe Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipeFYI, this recipe is all about eye-balling. You’ll notice that most of the ingredients have like a range, or just no specified amount next to them… That’s because it might take a slightly different amount of ricotta or mozzarella to cover your bread, or maybe you like more balsamic flavor. Basically what I’m saying is, these are more like guidelines. You should make your sandwich to how you want it!

P.S.— This has nothing to do with the sandwich, but I almost bought a romper today. A romper. As in shorts connected to a shirt. Like a shorts dress. I hate rompers. Or….I though I did until today. Now I’m kinda sad I didn’t buy it. This is big news.

Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipe Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipe

Print Print

Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups pitted, chopped Bing cherries
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 3 to 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • roughly 1/2 bunch of thick-stalk asparagus, shaved with a mandolin or vegetable peeler
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp pistachio oil
  • 1 multigrain baguette, cut in half, and split open
  • ricotta
  • fresh mozzarella
  • salt and freshly-cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp butter, softened


  1. In a bowl, combine the cherries, lemon zest, and balsamic. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  2. In another bowl, toss together the asparagus, mint, basil, and pistachio oil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the ricotta on one side of both baguette halves, and top with the asparagus mixture.
  4. Slice the mozzarella into 1/3" slices and layer on the other side of the bread until covered. Top with the cherry mixture.
  5. Close the sandwiches. Spread the outside of the sandwiches with the butter.
  6. Press in a panini press set to about 350 degrees for like 5-6 minutes until crispy and golden. (You could also wrap the sandwiches in tin foil, and pop them in a 350 degree oven with some bricks on top for like 10 minutes.)
  7. Cut each sandwich in half. (At this point I like to cut them in half again, so each person is getting two pieces, equalling 1/4 of the baguette.)

Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini | #recipe


7 Responses to “Balsamic Cherry and Shaved Asparagus Panini”

  1. Amanda — June 30, 2014 at 7:12 am

    This looks absolutely AMAAAZING!

    • Rachael replied: — June 30th, 2014 @ 9:56 am

      It's so good!!

  2. CakePants — June 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Whoa, this sounds fantastic! What a great and unique way to use cherries – can't wait to give this a try!

    • Rachael replied: — June 30th, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

      Thank you so much!

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