As the More is More Mom®, I am all about making……more sandwiches. Not your average everyday cold cuts on a hoagie roll or PB & J on ordinary sandwich bread. I’m talking about a little something special; dusting off the Panini maker (a notch above the George Foreman Grill).
Of course, my family is under the impression that I am a short order cook, but why should Panini Sandwich Day be any different than any other? In my perfect sandwich world, my boring, picky eaters would be a bit more adventurous and try a fabulous gourmet delicacy; BLT with homemade Pesto Mayonnaise on Italian Bread. It was out of this world!
BLT with homemade Pesto Mayonnaise:
Makes enough for about 10 sandwiches
In a food processor, combine;
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
6 Tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup of toasted pine nuts
2-3 cloves of garlic (I like garlic, I like 3)
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil (you may need to add a splash more of olive oil for a nice, smooth consistency)
Once blended, combine the pesto mixture with;
¾ cup mayonnaise
Cover and refrigerate. The pesto mayo can be made a few days in advance. It would be lovely on a traditional sandwich as well.
Feel free to use bacon or pancetta. You may like 2-3 slices per sandwich. I actually cooked 2 lbs of bacon, because my people are a bacon eating people, and it warms up so nicely for days. My favored method for cooking bacon is on foil lined baking sheets, in the oven on 350°, for approximately 30 minutes. I store it in a container lined with paper towel. It’s a little “slice” of Heaven.
You’ll want a nice tender green, like arugula or baby spinach.
One big beautiful beefsteak tomato is perfect for three sandwiches. You should be able to get 2-3 nice size slices for each serving.
Warm up your Panini maker, or pull out your skillet.
On the outside of each piece of sandwich bread, brush with oil
Flip over and on the inside of each slice of bread, spread pesto mayo
On one slice of bread, layer on tender greens
Add slices of tomato and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Place slices of bacon on top of tomatoes
I would recommend adding sliced cheese. The beauty of the warm sandwich is the ooey gooey goodness, and the only way to get that is with cheese. I chose slices of chipotle Gouda. It had a nice kick.
Heat up in your Panini maker, or in your skillet, for a warm and delicious treat!
A special sandwich deserves a special side. While your basic chips and dip are always tasty, why not take advantage of the amazing produce at the end of the summer season?
Caprese Corn Salad:
The fresh ingredients are out of this world!
In a pot of boiling water, cook;
2 ears of corn (approximately 12-15 minutes)
Allow corn to cool completely and slice the kernels off of the husk
2 cups of grapes tomatoes, halved
1 cup of fresh mozzarella cubed (similar in size to the tomatoes)
In a large bowl, combine corn, tomatoes and mozzarella
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together;
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Toss corn mixture with herb mixture and you’ve got yourself one gorgeous and fresh salad!
The most important thing about a Panini sandwich is that it is made with love; your family’s favorite ingredients
Chuck likes a smoked turkey with thick slices of tomato and cheese.
Amanda prefers a plain old sandwich with turkey, bacon and pickles, while Nick is a fan of a PB & J melting mess.
No matter how you slice it, the best part about the sandwich is that it is eaten while sharing ……more time together!