Sunday, August 23, 2009

Paninis with Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto

Like most people that love to cook, I often don't use recipes, a little of this, a splash of that, which makes it hard when trying to post a recipe. I have a huge collection of recipe clippings, bookmarks, cookbooks, etc. Some recipes I follow to the "T" (why mess with perfection). Other times, I adapt recipes to what ingredients that I have available or what suits my personal tastes. I'm usually successful when improvising but sometimes I fail miserably - my family can attest to that! Think chicken, wine, and bacon - didn't work! Pesto is one of those things that I don't follow a recipe to make. I found a recipe on chowhound that seems to be close to my ingredients and measurements - Thanks Kate!

I have a huge pet peeve for people that review recipes that they didn't follow - " I used ground beef instead of quail, garlic instead of shallots... the recipe was terrible. I see it so often that now I laugh and try to find the most outrageous examples!

The paninis are simply made from sliced Italian bread brushed with olive oil and spread with the basil pesto, a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, and a slice of tomato. These are inspired by Ina Garten. I finally broke down last winter and got a panini grill when they were majorly on sale. You could also use a grill pan or even a frying pan - just place a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches to press. Enjoy!

Homemade Basil Pesto
by Kate Ramos

4 cups tightly packed basil leaves (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (about 1 ounce)
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. With the motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until evenly incorporated. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse to finish incorporating all ingredients.

No comments:

Post a Comment