Monday, September 14, 2009

Tomato-Basil Sandwich is Love.

I'm never really sure how to feel about Sunday nights. On one hand, I am anxious for the upcoming week and think about all I'll have to do. Yet, at the same time I am still consumed by the weekend mentality of laziness. It is this strange little contradiction that always leaves me a little unsure on how to approach dinner: Go all out to celebrate the weekend and motivate myself for the week to come? Or keep it simple and preserve my energy?

This Sunday I found one simple solution to this little dilemma: A pesto panini! I got the ease and simplicity I was looking for, while simultaneously getting bold and delicious flavors.

To me, the only thing bad about pesto is that I always leave my little basil plant looking slightly pathetic. However, I am willing to make this concession in order to gain the great flavors and versiltile uses of petso.

One of the very greatest things about pesto is how easy it is to freeze in individual portions and pull whenever inspiration strikes. Just divide a fresh batch into an empty ice cube tray and allow to freeze. It will keep for weeks!

Pesto, Mozzarella and Summer Tomato Panini

  • 1 tbsp. fresh, store bought, or thawed pesto
  • 1 slice mozzarella cheese (fresh is better, but I used prepacked)
  • 2 thick tomato slices
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 sliced ciabatta roll
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread 1 tsp. olive oil over the insides of both ciabatta roll halves. Place on cooking sheet and toast in oven 4-5 minutes, until top is lightly browned.
  • Spread pesto on toasted ciabatta rolls. Layer 1 thick tomato slice, basil leaves, mozzarella slice, and second tomato slice, and top with other ciabatta half.
  • If available, use panini or sandwich press on sandwich . Otherwise, use skillet on medium heat. Place a second heavy skillet on top of sandwich to press down until mozzarella has begun to melt.
  • Enjoy!

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