It is still kind of early to get any good tomatoes but thinking about the corn chowder had me hankering for some tomatoes to go with it so I decided to make Mozzarella and Tomato Panninis for a soup and sandwich dinner tonight.
I like pesto on my Mozzarella and Tomato Panninis so I first made up a big batch of pesto. I only needed a little for each sandwich but I always make large batches and put small containers in the freezer to be used in pastas, soups and casseroles.
Pesto only takes a few ingredients: Basil, Pine Nuts, Olive Oil, Garlic, Pepper and Parmesan.
Some people toast the pine nuts....I don't.
I think the most important thing is to use a very good olive oil.
Leaves from 1 lge. bunch of Basil
1/2 c. Pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 c. Parmesan Cheese
5 or 6 grinds of fresh pepper
Place all ingredients except olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. With food processor running drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is at the desired consistency, about 1/ 4 cup. Stop processing as soon as you reach your desired consistency so that the pesto is not completely smooth and has some texture. Taste and season with salt if desired. Print Recipe
Once the pesto is made you can start assembling the sandwiches.
Mozzarella and Tomato Pannini with Pesto
Italian Bread, Sliced
Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
For each sandwich, brush olive oil on 1 side of 2 slices of bread. Flip bread olive oil side down and brush each with pesto. Layer tomatoes and cheese on one of the slices and top with the other. Place on a griddle or in a fry pan over med high heat with a cast iron skillet on top of the sandwich to weigh it down. Cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted. Print Recipe
I am sharing this recipe on Thrifty Thursday....stop by for wonderful, money saving ideas!