Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini

We had this for dinner last night. If you have homemade pesto, you've got to try this! It is so delicious. I say "homemade pesto" because I don't know what store bought tastes like, and I can't guarantee it.... but you might know of a good quality, delicious prepared pesto that you can purchase. I plant basil every year and by the end of the summer they are big bushes and I 'harvest' basil all the time. I make batches of pesto and freeze them in ice cube trays so I can use it throughout the winter and spring. Some of our favorite dinners are meals that I make with pesto.
This Pesto Panini has pesto spread on the inside of both pieces of Italian bread (I use crusty, chewy bread from the bakery at the grocery store, such as a Neo-Tuscan Boule or Rosemary Boule...).
Then I layer grilled chicken (I grill mine with some lemon pepper on it), tomatoes, avocado, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind that comes in a ball).
I spread a little butter on the outsides of the bread (this is optional) and then grill it in a George Foreman-type of grill for five minutes.
Serve immediately.

To make roasted red peppers, half the bell pepper and remove seeds and stem. Place face down on a sheet of tinfoil and place under the broiler. Broil until the skin is black all over, about 8 or so minutes. I cover the tops of the pepper with some tin foil when it gets black and continue to broil it so the remaining sides will blacken. Once the skin is black, fold the tinfoil around it to seal in the heat (or place in a bowl and cover with Saran wrap) and let sit for 20 minutes (I've scrimped on the time before, and I think it still tastes good). Then peel off the black skin and cut into slices.

~Recipe from Erin~