July 26, 2010

Chicken Pesto Panini

My husband has told his fellow co-workers about this blog and frequently talks about my cooking. After all that talking and bringing leftovers, they said I needed to feed them lunch. I fed his department - about 14 people. Not a huge undertaking. But seeing how we are moving this week, I didn't want to buy a lot of things or do a lot of cooking. (We are packing up the kitchen!) So I put together a simple lunch of panini and salad. These panini are so simple but were a big hit. I guess you could say I had my first catering event!
This is a great recipe because it is so simple to make for a few or multiple people. Because I made it simple I used a roatisserie chicken and prepared pesto. If you wanted to be really gourmet you could do these yourself, but I don't think you can really tell the difference. One of the women at his work is vegetarian, so she had one without meat - it was still delicious.

Chicken Pesto Panini
1 loaf Ciabatta bread, cut horizontally then in about 6 pieces
6 Tbsp prepared pesto
Mozzarella cheese
1 cup Baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (ish) Sun-dried tomatoes
1-2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat

Prehead a panini press. To build the panini: Spread one tablespoon of the pesto on each piece of ciabatta bread (I like it split between both sides). Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on each side of the bread. Then layer a few spinach leaves, a few sun-dried tomato slices, and the chicken. Put your slices together and place onto hot panini press. Press sandwhiches until warmed through, cheese has melted, and the bread is crisp.

  • No Panini Press? Not a problem - check out how to make a panini press from what you already have in your kitchen!
  • You can prepare these ahead (up to a few hours), wrap them up, and cook them when ready.
  • To make even more gourmet - use fresh mozzerella (I was going to, but that's so expensive for 14 people!)
  • Buy the sun-dried tomatoes in oil, the dry ones are not the best texture.
  • Have your local bakery slice your bread loaf for you to cut on time.


melimba said...

what?! you said YES to their request the week you are moving!? Oh, you are good.
I totally would have said no. :)
But you are nice, I am not. :)

I can't believe you are moving this week! I'm excited for your little family! You will love it and hate it depending on the day. But, overall, it will be awesome! Truly.

Good luck packing! Not so fun, but it will be really great UNpacking in your new place! Keep thinking of that as you tape up boxes! :)

lots of love,

p.s. I think I could totally do these paninis, Sarah! Also, I'll have you know that I FINALLY made home-made pizza tonight! I even used artichoke hearts, bacon, and home-made sauce. I thought you, of all people I know, would be proud of my baby steps.

okay. novel over. ta ta for now!

Steph said...

Man... if it weren't for you I would never have new delicious things to try. This looks amazing.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'm excited to try it!