Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Panini Time!

My life these days consists mostly of hockey, hockey and more hockey.  Hubby is a Bruins fan and I'm a Habs fan.  Tonight is a big night in this house!  Currently the national anthems are playing in Boston and we are sitting on opposite sides of the room with our game faces on.  I would like to say that it has been a friendly round of hockey but that would be a lie.  Every game night is filled with trash talking and usually ends with an argument, not even kidding a little:) 

I tried to make a really tasty dinner to get on his good side before the Habs kick some Bruin behind.  I put together some Grilled Portobello and Goat Cheese Panini's. I started with a homemade pesto, then grilled some portobello mushrooms.  The pesto is fantastic and I will definitely make this same panini with some chicken instead of the mushroom.   

I would suggest a side dish, soup or a salad, if you make them with mushrooms.  With chicken I think it would be a more complete meal.  This would make a great hot summer day dinner.  Definitely give the pesto a try! 

Grilled Portobello and Goat Cheese Panini


  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as manzanilla, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. pecans
  • 1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills removed, and wiped clean
  • 4 soft round rolls
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

  1. Heat a panini or sandwich press according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. While the press is heating, put the basil, olives, nuts, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, add 6 Tbs. of the olive oil in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube and continue to process until thick and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the mushrooms with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them on the press, pull the top down, and cook until softened and browned, 5 minutes (or cook in the grill pan, flipping once). Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
  4. Spread the pesto on the bottom halves of the rolls. Put 1 mushrooms on each and then some cheese. Top the sandwiches with the other halves of the rolls. Brush both sides of the sandwiches with the remaining 2 tsp. oil.
  5. Put the sandwiches on the press until browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully remove from the press and serve.

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I would love to hear what you think about what you've read on my blog. Let me know if you plan on trying or have tried a recipe....ENJOY!