Chicken Pesto Panini

 

Dicing garlic

Dicing garlic

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!

Homemade pesto

Homemade pesto

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.

Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grades:

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.

 

 

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