I am crazy for paninis and this Tomato Pesto Panini is my favorite one ever! I love the combination of fresh pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella on a crusty bread. I have been ordering a similar version at Panera for ages and became very upset when they discontinued it. You can always customize your own favorite combination and use this delicious pesto recipe!
What a poor idea on my part to type out this post while I am hungry. Ugg…I don’t like staring at my favorite sandwich right now and my husband gobbled up all my pesto!
My neighbor has a little herb garden (I am totally jealous) and gave us a big bushel of basil. I immediately knew that a nice pesto sauce was waiting to be made with these wonderfully fragrant herbs. After making the first batch, my husband became a pesto addict! He doesn’t like tomatoes, so he opted to have his pesto with a turkey sandwich. He just doesn’t know what he is missing! I really can’t think of a better pairing with pesto than a juicy tomato (his tastebuds’ loss). Anyhow, what makes this funny is that he ate all the pesto and kept talking about wanting more. I told him that he needs to plant me an herb garden. HA…I am doing good to get him to cut the grass. A couple days later he came inside with another bushel of fresh basil and informed me that he jumped the neighbor’s fence to get it. I immediately panicked, thinking OMG you robbed the neighbor’s herb garden in broad daylight. He just laughed at me and said that he asked the neighbor for more (HAHA).
- 3 C. Packed Basil Leaves
- 2 Tsp. Minced Garlic
- 1/2 C. Olive Oil
- 1/3 C. Parmesan Cheese
- 1/3. C. Pine Nuts
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1 Medium Tomato Sliced
- 4 Mozzarella Cheese Slices
- Focaccia or French Bread Loaf
Place pine nuts in food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground.
Add olive oil, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper.
Blend/pulse until combined.
Add Basil leaves and blend/pulse until combined.
Cut French or Focaccia Bread to desired size.
Brush pesto sauce on both insides of the bread.
Add a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of pesto on both sides of the bread.
Add desired amount of tomato slices.
Place sandwich on a panini press and cook until outsides of bread start to brown and cheese melts.