Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pesto and Mozzarella Paninis

Today is Sunday, which means one thing: dinner at Mommy's! As you know, today is the day I spend with Mommy and El (shopping, nails at 3, popcorn at 4 and, HOPEFULLY, an SVU marathon until dinner time).and then we make a yummy, comforting dinner, eat off of trays and watch the previous night's episode of SNL. After an EXHAUSTING day of shopping (and FREE gifts from Sears from the FoodNetwork), we finally had to decide what to cook for dinner. After flipping through one of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks on Mommy's shelf, I knew we simply HAD to have Paninis for dinner! Not only are the DELICIOUS, but they're easy and you can really put whatever you want on them. Tonight, we put sundried tomatoes, pesto (don't worry, friends, in time I shall share my recipe with you), mozzarella, and arugula to garnish some simply, yet deliciously, seasoned chicken. Another successful Sunday night dinner!!!

This is what you'll need (enough for 4 Paninis):
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup sundried tomatoes (which we put in the food processor, making them MUCH easier to spread and eat)
1 cup basil pesto
fresh mozzarella
ciabatta bread
1 cup arugula
salt & pepper
1 tbs. FRESH rosemary

1. As if you were going to bread and fry the chicken breasts, cut them in half, length wise, making them extra thin, place inside two pieces of plastic wrap, and use a mallet to pound out and make very thin.
2. Season each side with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary, finely chopped.
3. Grill, or sauté, each piece of chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side (just until it has those nice grill marks. You don't want to overcook it).

4. Place your ciabatta loaf on a cutting board, cut into 4 pieces, then slice down the middle of each piece, creating a sandwich.
5. Here, you can really put anything you want on either side. I put the pesto and a little aioli (from Whole Foods) and pesto on one side, and the sundried tomatoes and mozzarella on the other side.
4. Wash the arugula and place a hand full on the bottom half of the bread (if you put it on the top half, you'll lose them all trying to assemble).
5. Once they're assembled, place in your panini machine, or on a grill pan with something heave on top to make them thin and crunchy, until the cheese melts (I had to do this in two steps: grill for about 5 minutes, cut it in half, then grill again so the cheese oozes out).

enjoy :)
"The Sunday Night Tradition"


  1. Dinner at Mommy's! I know and love that mommy! Did she eat any of this deliciousness? Come to Phoenix and cook for me! love, your mommy's best friend.

  2. Yes she did!!! A special, vegan version (just substituted the regular mozzarella for soy mozzarella)