Friday, December 31, 2010

Turkey Pesto Panini

Happy New Year's Eve, here's a fun party food!  My awesome hubby came up with this delicious panini sandwich recipe, which we have served up several times this Christmas season.  It's stuffed with turkey breast, piquillo peppers, spinach, pesto and jack cheese all melted together.  Anything with pesto is great in my opinion.  We used a natural "Oil Browned" turkey breast, which is nitrate/nitrite free, right from our local deli!  Be sure to buy a high quality pesto for this or here's my recipe to make your own pesto!  If you don't have a panini press, you can always use a grill pan and compress your sandwich with something heavy like a brick wrapped in aluminum foil.

Recipe (makes 4 sandwiches)
1 medium loaf European Style Bread such as Pugliese or Filone
1/2 pound deli sliced natural turkey breast
piquillo peppers, blotted dry with a paper towel
~1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
sliced jack cheese
1/4 cup pesto

1. Slice loaf into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Spread about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of pesto on each of the eight slices.  Assemble sandwiches with sliced turkey, piquillo peppers, spinach leaves and a slice of jack cheese, top with other slice of bread. *tip* for a large group or party you can prepare the sandwiches up to this point ahead and cover them in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you are ready to grill.
2. Place sandwiches on Panini press and grill until golden and cheese is melted, about 4-5 minutes.  You can also use a grill pan or frying pan and press your sandwich with a heavy object such as the bottom of a clean pot or a brick wrapped in foil, flip halfway through. Serve hot with your favorite soup or a simple green salad.

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