Last food for thought friday I shared with you a recipe for molten chocolate cake, a version of a delectable dessert I had while on our cruise. Today I'm doing the same, only this time it's for my take on the super tasty hot version of Carnival's tomato & mozzarella sandwich from the deli. In fact, all the sandwiches from that mini deli were yummy and a great option if you're just not into the all-you-can-eat buffet thing.
I've made tomato and mozzarella panini before but this time, thanks to Carnival, I threw in a creamy pesto sauce. It took a darn good sandwich and turned it into a "holy cow I could eat this every freakin' day" sandwich. I picked up the pesto from Pirate O's in Draper, Utah's version of Trader Joe's. (Note: this store is just as dangerous as Target; only the strong will come out having spent under $50.) The pesto was fresh and made locally, two great selling points. I only wish I'd had fresh basil from the Salt Lake City Farmer's Market but alas, the standard grocery store standby was all I had on hand. The same goes for the mozzarella. I bet if I'd had some freshly made mozzarella from Tony Caputo's Market & Deli this sandwich would've been orgasmic. And I'll stop there.
Get out your panini press and your taste buds--it's time to do a little sandwich grillin'!
Fresh Tomato & Mozzarella Panini
Serves 2 to 4 depending on your appetite
1 beefsteak tomato or 2-3 Roma tomatoes sliced about 1/4" or so thick
4 oz. or so fresh mozzarella sliced no more than 1/4" or so thick
1 bunch basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 c. fresh pesto
1 T mayonnaise
1 loaf ciabatta or focaccia bread (I have a recipe for an easy and tasty focaccia bread (click here); the Pugliese bread from Costco is also really good for panini)
Preheat your panini grill according to the manufacturer's directions.
In a small bowl combine the fresh pesto and mayo so you have a nice creamy pesto.
Slice the bread into two or three sections vertically depending on its size, then slice the sections in half horizontally so you have a top and bottom for each sandwich.
Brush the outside of the top and bottom pieces with olive oil (or do what I do and use an olive oil cooking spray and lightly spray the pieces--so much easier!). Open up the sandwich and spread a layer of pesto on the inside of both the top and bottom pieces. On one side layer the tomatoes followed by the mozzarella, then sprinkle with the strips of basil. Place the other piece of bread on top and follow your panini grill's instructions for grilling the sandwich.
Voilà! No need to wait in line for the buffet and no need to fork over a gratuity! --Emily
P.S. Yes, I should've taken more photos but four hungry kids and one hungry husband meant little time for snapping pics. Sorry!