I’m used to hosting dinners and I have a certain calm confidence when I have to do so as I think it’s easier than hosting a lunch or brunch. I had the opportunity to host family and friends for a Fall lunch a few weeks ago. So, it took some planning for me. I try to plan my meal around the season when I entertain as it’s easier to cook with what’s in season and I think it’s another way to not only celebrate the season but to celebrate all the lovely foods that go along with it. Being that it’s Fall I wanted a light lunch filled with flavor that could be served in courses as I knew it would be a social meal filled with stories and memories. A meal served in courses gives your guests a chance to relax and have plenty of time for conversation.
I served these mini Panini sandwiches filled with roasted turkey, provolone cheese and garnished with fig preserves and fresh sage. I used turkey tenderloins because when sliced they fit perfectly onto the French baguette that I used. The fig preserves gave a subtle sweetness and that punch of fresh sage made it earthy and fresh. They were very well received! My guests commented that they loved the idea of having mini sandwichs as opposed to one big sandwich.
- 1 large French baguette, sliced
- 2 turkey tenderloins
- 16 slices of provolone cheese
- ¼ cup fig preserves
- 10-15 sage leaves - chopped
- olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary garlic seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the turkey tenderloins into a covered baking dish. Drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt, black pepper and the rosemary garlic seasoning.
- Bake the tenderloins for approximately 40-50 minutes until cooked through and no longer pink.
- Slice the turkey tenderloins.
- Cut the provolone cheese slices in half.
- Spread butter over one side of each baguette.
- Assemble the sandwiches:
- Place a piece of baguette butter side down on work surface.
- Spread the baguette with fig preserves.
- Add ½ slice of the provolone.
- Add a slice of turkey.
- Add a few chopped sage pieces.
- Add another ½ slice of the provolone.
- Top with another slice of baguette, butter side out.
- Assemble the remaining sandwiches. Repeating the same process.
- Place the sandwiches, in batches onto the Panini press. Cook until browned and the cheese melted.
- Repeat the cooking process with the remaining sandwiches.
I served my roasted butternut squash soup as the first course followed by the mini Panini sandwiches with a simple cabbage slaw. Pumpkin cake was our delicious dessert. The best part was I got to relax and enjoy the meal as well. I prepared the soup, cabbage slaw and cake the night before. The only thing I had to do was roast the turkey, assemble the sandwiches, and place them into the Panini press. And I must say, roasting that turkey made the house smell sensational.