Chicken Panini with Pesto and Mozzarella
- 3 Tbs. pesto, purchased
- 4 slices crusty white sandwich bread
- 5 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 thin slices
- 1 small roasted red pepper in vinegar, halved
- Breast meat of classic grilled chicken (see related recipe at left), cut into 6 slices (about 5 oz. total)
- 6 oz. arugula, stems removed
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
Prepare the sandwiches
Spread the pesto on one side of the bread slices. For each sandwich, layer 2 mozzarella slices; half each of the roasted red pepper, chicken and arugula; and 2 more mozzarella slices.
Refrigerate the sandwiches
Spread the outside of the sandwiches with the butter. Put the sandwiches on a sheet of waxed paper and refrigerate until the butter is firm, about 20 minutes.
Cook the sandwiches
Preheat a ridged fry pan or grill pan over medium heat until hot. Place the sandwiches in the pan and weight down with a second fry pan. Cook until the undersides are golden, about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn the sandwiches over, weight them down again and cook until golden on the other side, about 2 1/2 minutes more. Alternatively, cook the sandwiches using an electric panini press according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board, cut in half and serve immediately. Serves 2.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Grilling, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2007).