This Taleggio Arugula Tortilla Panini says it all; a pressed sandwich of tortillas with Taleggio cheese and arugula. Nothing more to it. The flavor however is absolutely great and it is so different from many other Italian paninis. You really need to try and experiment with cheese. Taleggio; a great Italian stinker, has a wonderful soft texture and is flavorful, creamy and not too stinky.
The other day I was cutting a Taleggio cheese and suddenly thought about this sandwich. I made this a couple of times a very long time ago and almost forgot about it. I am glad it came back to me, because now I can share it with y’all.
Let me tell you, just in case you don’t know Taleggio; it is an Italian stinker :-). But a very delicious one and with so many things in life, you have to try it to believe me that the flavor is worth it. Taleggio belongs to the category of washed-rind cheeses. Cheeses that are ‘washed’ with a brine or a alcohol containing liquid; consequently the moistened rind is a lovely environment for bacteria to munch on. The cheese rind becomes redish, sticky and stinky and oozier the older it becomes. Now, I have to admit, that does not sound very appealing and I have to admit not every washed-rind cheese is my cup of tea either, but ……. there is always a but. You have to try, to know what you are talking about. You cannot judge from the smell, the looks or the talks alone – you’ll just have to try.
I am a strong believer in trying. Don’t judge a book by its cover – this applies to cheese as well and to so many other things, or people for that matter. However, the latter is a long story, discussion, may be for another time, when we can be face to face.
This is how we start making the Taleggio Arugula Tortilla Panini:
I used whole wheat tortillas, not really Italian, I know, but readily available. Then I sliced the Taleggio thinly; one with rind and one without, just to see whether we could taste the difference. We did not. I know that the piece of cheese I used was not very moldy yet, did not have many patches of grayish fur; another fine term to use when you talk about food :-).
That mold is harmless by the way, but can taste a little bitter, so eating this rind is a matter of preference. May be a comparison with a more familiar cheese, Brie or Camembert, some people don’t eat the rind, other feel that it adds to the flavor of the cheese.
Tortilla – cheese slices – sprinkle with pepper – arugula – tortilla.
Place one filled tortilla in a skillet (no butter, no oil) over medium-high heat and cook until the tortilla is browned and the cheese melts, this only takes 1-2 minutes. Flip it around and cook the other side the same way. If you have a large griddle, you may be able to do 2 at the same time. This is it to make a Taleggio Arugula Tortilla Panini.
I really hope you will try this. Not because it is a recipe from my blog, but because I hope you are willing to try a cheese you may not have tried before. Approach this with an open mind and an open nose. Experience that the stinky cheese is not that bad. Of course it depends on where you buy it and how they pack it. Many cheese counters in grocery stores pack the cheese in saran wrap and that is unfortunate. The cheese has no way to breathe and when you unwrap the cheese, you will be met with a pretty strong whiff, that will temporarily take over your senses. Ignore it and make the panini 🙂
The Taleggio Arugula Tortilla Panini will offer you a creamy flavor with bitter elements of the arugula, wrapped in a familiar whole wheat crust. Enjoy!