Panini w/ Pesto

I love sandwiches! I eat one probably every day in some shape or form. And I love to bake bread and experiement with different types, and Phil is always my biggest encourager (often cutting out or pointing out new bread recipes he comes across in a newspaper or magazine) and fan as I try (and sometimes fail) to get just the bread he or I am dreaming of.

There is always my old ‘standby’ 100% whole wheat bread that I learned to make in my mom’s kitchen as I was growing up. Sometimes I crave that bread for an egg or fresh-from-the-garden tomato sandwich. There is also her French Bread recipe that I learned to make watching her, and I love to eat with soup or salad.

Apart from those, however, I think most of the other breads I’ve tried have been ones of my (or Phil’s) own choosing, and it’s a lot of fun to see if this will be our next “hit” bread. :)

In a quest for a strong, slightly sour-dough bread, ideal for making Panara-bread type sandwiches, I have tried fococcia and ciabatta. I like both. Especially the pesto-olive fococcia I made a few days ago . . . but the biggest hit in my opinion was the new ciabatta that I tried this week.
Mmm . . . this strong bread with its slightly sour dough flavor made my sandwich-making experience yesterday a delight! Bread-making is always an “art” to perfect, in my opinion, so I will continue to work at this recipe, but for now, since you all weren’t able to enjoy lunch with me (and two friends) yesterday, want a little sandwich tour?
1. Spread homemade pesto (see the end of post for recipe) on one side of bread and a mixture of mayonaise & parmesan cheese on the other (Or spread the mayo between meat and cheese to avoid making bread soggy.)
2. Layer cheese (mine was Ohio Swiss) on top of pesto, next the spinach or mixed greens, tomato, carmalized onions (purple onions cooked in a little balsamic vinegar), and meat (I used turkey breast). Sprinkle on a little extra salt & pepper if desired, and finish with that top crusty piece of ciabatta!
3. But just a tad bit of butter on the bread or on your little foreman grill or sandwich maker grill surface. Grill till cheese is melted and bread is toasted. (I love the lines these little machines make!)

4. Serve up your beautiful panini creation with a salad or chips and an ice cold drink! Mmmm . . .

P.S. I almost forgot! Do you want the pesto recipe? I got this recipe from an elderly German friend of ours, and I love it. Use it on wraps, pasta, pizza . . . you name it. My current batch of pesto is made with about half parsley since I didn’t have enough of basil at the time. I have another recipe for just parsley pesto, so figured I could mix the two, and like I said, I love it!

Basil-Parmesan Pesto~
7 cups fresh basil, stems removed (wash and dry in salad spinner)
2 garlic cloves
2 3/4 cups olive oil
8 oz. Parmesan cheese
1 heaping cup walnuts or pine nuts

Blend in food proecessor or blender. Store in little jars (baby food jars work well) and put just a tad bit of olive oil on tip to kind of seal the pesto. Can be kept in frig or freezer for a looong time.

// Edited//

As for the bread recipe many of you are requesting . . . the reason I didn’t post one in particular is because I’m still trying out various ones, and actually used parts of two recipes this last time I made a batch. You can google ‘ciabatta bread recipe’ and come up with quite a few.

The one I have in the oven right now can be found here. It’s looking delicious, but a little “higher” than last week’s quite “flat” ciabatta. I think the stickier the dough, the flatter the bread, which I kind of like, because then you don’t have a huge amount of bread to bite into. So we’ll see . . . I really and truly hardly ever follow a recipe to the tee, so it’s hard for me to pass them on to others, but I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

Oh, one thing, so far, I’ve only tried recipes that start with a “sponge” starter, and tho there are some without the starter, it seems to me the sour dough flavor would be the best. Over all, it seems to be a fairly easy bread to make. Go have fun with it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

9 Responses to Panini w/ Pesto

  1. Esther@fleurcottage June 26, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    wow…that looks really yummy!

  2. tilda June 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    wish i was one of the two friends. that looks delicious. are you going to post your bread recipe too?

  3. Enjoying the Scenery June 26, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    that looks divine! you could put panera bread out of business!!! i'm with Tilda…would love to try making that bread.


  4. lil June 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    i'll be over for lunch,please! in mid-july :)Your pics are fantastic!!

  5. clarita June 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Wow, that looks superb. And I remember how YUMMY those were too, when you served them last winter! And the bread recipe please?? I was just waiting for that during the whole post! :) Your food looks Panera-quality. Amazing!

    And ooooo, it looks like maybe one of your brothers has a girl?? :)

  6. Shelly June 29, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    I'd love to have you all over for panini! I've added a link at the end of the post for one of the recipes I've tried. But google 'ciabatta' and find one that suits you! I'm still in the experimenting process . . . I've got another batch in the oven at the moment and it smells sooo good. =)

  7. Heidi June 30, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    We just tried this tonight and LOVED it!

  8. Anonymous July 8, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    looks and sounds wonderful!!! your pics are tops and I know I missed good times of food,talkin', scrappin' and swimming you guys! eat a sandwich in honor of me today! =)

  9. carolynmiller July 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    I was scrolling through your site because I often miss stuff in my Reader just because I check it when I am in a hurry…anyway as I scrolled past this entry Benson was behind me saying "yum-YUM, yum-YUM". :) The photos are lovely.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes