I started by making homemade pesto sauce. I used my organic basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil.
While it seems like it would be an easy task, I had to learn how to even peel garlic. Thankfully, my mom helped mentor me, because she has made pesto many times before. She taught me the technique. First I separated the heads of garlic, then I pressed the flat side of the knife into the head. This made is much easier to peel the garlic. Then I diced them, but because I was going to be using a blender, I didn’t feel like they needed to be finely diced.
Then I washed the basil and picked the leaves off the stem. I added the basil and the garlic to the blender. The blender that I use is the magic bullet. After pulsing a couple of times, my magic bullet stopped working. I had to switch to a normal blender, but it was already so thick that it was quite a headache.
Once my pesto was finally done, I started grilling the chicken. I used a grilling pan to get the line effect on the chicken. While the pieces of chicken seemed thin at first, they actually took a much longer time to cook. As I was cooking the chicken, I heated up the panini grill and took two pieces of my organic, local bread out. I spread some pesto on both sides of the bread. Once the chicken was done, I sliced it to make it into thinner slices and put the chicken slices on top. Then I sliced some mozzarella cheese and some tomatoes and added them both to the sandwich. I carefully put the twice slices together and put them into the panini grill. I put the grill on a medium heat, but looking back, I probably should have put it on a medium-high heat, because it took a long time to melt the cheese. But it was so worth it!
The panini was delicious with the cheese melted and gooey. The pesto was very tasty and I could obviously taste the nuttiness of the pine nuts as well as the parmesan cheese. This is something that I would definitely make on a regular basis and just one sandwich was more than enough for my dinner.
Health: B+. Almost all of the ingredients in this recipe is local or organic (chicken, basil, bread, tomatoes) and the others are Trader Joe’s brand, which they claim is completely GMO-free. All of the ingredients are non-processed.
Taste: A. Great.
Price: B+. While some of the items, especially the pine nuts, are expensive, other items were very cheap, such at the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. The amount of pesto that I made can be used in at least two or three more servings.
Overall: A-. This is definitely something I would make again.