Basil--How Did I Ever Live Without It?
Written by Gayle
I love panini sandwiches. But I don't have them very often because I don't have a panini pan (and I don't really want more appliances in my kitchen, if you know what I mean!) But I will get creative in my methods and make an exception for the classic caprese panini sandwich.
I'm crazy about pesto--and I make it every month or so. I toss it with hot pasta, I use it on sandwiches, I use it as a base (instead of tomato sauce) for pizza, and of course, once in a while, I make these amazing sandwiches. So here's my recipe for Basil Pesto--use it in your favorite ways!
- 1 bunch organic basil, washed and patted dry
- 2 cloves organic garlic
- 1/4 cup organic pine nuts
- 1/3 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup organic shredded parmesan cheese
- salt to taste
- In a food processor or a blender, blend the basil, garlic, and pine nuts until well incorporated. It will not be smooth.
- With the blades running, carefully pour the olive oil into the mixture and mix for about a minute
- Add the parmesan cheese and blend
- Taste, and then add salt if desired.
- This recipe makes enough pesto for about 1 lb pasta, 4-6 sandwiches, or 1 medium-sized pizza.
To Make a Caprese Sandwich You'll Need:
- Slices of Lassen's Rosemary Sourdough Bread
- Additional Organic Olive Oil
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Slices of Organic Tomatoes (I love to use the Organic Heirlooms that are available now!)
- Lightly brush the outside of two pieces of bread with olive oil
- Spread some pesto on one or both inside sides of the bread
- Place one piece of bread, oil-side down, on a warm pan on top of medium heat on the stove (if you have a panini pan, go for it!)
- Layers some slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on the bread, then slices of tomato.
- Place the other piece of bread on the top.
- I like to place a piece of foil over the sandwich, and then a heavier pan to press the sandwich together a bit (imitating the panini pan.)
- Watch the sandwich carefully--you may need to lower the heat to make sure it doesn't burn.
- When the cheese is melted, carefully flip the sandwich over and cook until the bread is golden.
- Slice in half and serve!
I love to serve these with a simple spinach or arugula salad or some fruit. They are great for Spring or Summer dinners when you just don't want to heat up the kitchen!
Enjoy this gorgeous Spring day with this tasty bit of green!