Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Picnic For One (Pesto Panino)

The weather was lovely this weekend so I decided to throw myself a little picnic.  My husband went golfing with a friend on Saturday and I was bored and hungry and thought, "I can have a one person picnic. That's not lame, right?"  So, I did!  The night before I had actually made these for dinner and it was so tasty that I had it again for lunch the next day!  

Let me begin by making a confession: I love cheese! If you know me outside my blog and you know my family, then you already know this.  In fact, my cousin and I used to joke around when we were kids that you weren't really part of our family if you didn't love cheese.  As a child I spent many weekends on the farm with my grandparents and almost EVERY day at lunch I would sit with my Granddad and enjoy a cheese sandwich-wheat bread, Colby cheese and mustard :) So delicious! As a teenager and young adult my love for the cheese sandwich still remained but often I wanted a grilled cheese. I still adore a good cold cheese sandwich and I beg Steve to make me a grilled cheese almost once a week.  Although I'm the main cook here, he makes a mean grilled cheese! Well, at least until I made these sandwiches; now he might be out of business because I rocked these!

I got to use my very own basil from my garden to make the pesto which was fun. I felt like such an accomplished gardener ... Not really.  But the pesto is great!  Even if you don't use it to make this panino, you should make it and slasher up some toasted baguette, use it as a pasta or pizza sauce...whatever floats your boat. Just make it, because it's fantastic! Super easy, very basic and yet so yummy!

Pesto Panino 


1 loaf ciabatta or 4 ciabatta buns, sliced in half horizontally
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Basil Pesto
3/4 lb. fontina, sliced (or more if you're like me and steal a very slices)


Turn on Broiler.

Lay both sides of ciabatta (cut-side up) on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Broil for 3 minutes, just until bread is slightly crispy on the top but not browned.  Remove from broiler. 

Slather pesto on both sides of bread and place cheese slices on the bottom side of bread.  Place the top piece of bread on the bottom and press down slightly. 

Return to broiler for 3 minutes, until cheese is melted and loaf if crusty.  Be careful not to burn. 

If using a loaf of ciabatta, slice into individual sandwiches and ENJOY!

Basil Pesto


1 clove garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more if needed
1/4 cup olive oil, or more if needed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt, or more if needed

In a food processor, pulse the garlic and pine nuts together with the salt until finely chopped.

Add the basil leaves and lemon juice, blend until basil begins to break down. Stream in olive oil until mixture is smooth and has the desired consistency, add more oil if needed.

Fold in Parmesan and taste for seasoning.  Add more salt or lemon juice if needed.

Next time the weather's great and you're alone, just throw yourself a picnic :) Oh, and makes this pesto panino because they are YUMMY!!!

Happy Ending

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