Creamy Pesto Panini and Giveaway!

Creamy Pesto

This Panini Sandwich Recipe is loaded with all sorts of goodies, but the crowning jewel is the fresh creamy pesto. Learn how to make a panini properly and win an awesome Panini Press!

A friend once told me she found it hard to make a good panini sandwich. She explained that the inside sometimes came out soggy, or that by the time she had pressed the sandwich long enough to warm through the center, the outside was too dark.

This puzzled me, because a good panini press is meant to make life a little easier in the kitchen. After further discussion, we discovered that she was using cold, wet ingredients (like tomatoes and olives straight out of the tub) and had set the temperature on the grill too high. After a little adjustment, she now uses her panini press all the time for sandwiches, as well as fish and grilled veggies.

It’s amazing how one conversation, or piece of new information, can change your perspective.

How to Make a Panini

BigKitchen.com recently sent me a wonderful Calphalon Removable Plates Grill. Prior to this, my only hangup with panini presses and electric grills was how tricky they were to clean up. This one has certainly changed my perspective.

This Calphalon indoor grill is a cinch to clean. Both grill plates simply pop off and can even be placed in the dishwasher, along with the drawer in the back that catches grease and crumbs.

The top portion of the press is hinged to allow height adjustment for even cooking. That means you can place tall sandwiches, or thick-cut steaks in it without any difficulty. Also the preheat function is exceptionally fast. By the time you assemble your panini sandwich recipe, the grill is ready to go.

Creamy Pesto Recipe

Today I’m serving a panini with Creamy Pesto. This pesto is a little different from the standard variety because it calls for less oil and is blended with cream cheese. The cream cheese provides a light silky quality and accentuates the basil, walnut and lemon. It’s easier to spread than regular pesto and makes a wonderful melty addition to any panini sandwich recipe.

How to make a Panini:

  • Preheat the grill
  • Butter the bread
  • Load with dry, room-temperature ingredients
  • Press to toast

That’s really all there is to it. I loaded these with black forest ham, genoa salami, artichoke hearts, sprouts and a good shmeer of creamy pesto. Heavenly!

Panini Sandwich Recipe Simple Elegant Dishes from Villeroy & Boch.

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Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Creamy Pesto Panini Sandwich Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Creamy Pesto:
2 cups basil, packed
2 Tb. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tb. lemon juice
4 oz. cream cheese

For the Panini Sandwich Recipe:
8 slices sour dough bread
softened butter
16 slices black forest ham
16 slices genoa salami
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and pulled apart
1 cup alfalfa sprouts

Directions:

Preheat a panini press to 300 degrees F.

Add the ingredients for the creamy pesto to a food processor. Puree until smooth.

Butter 8 slices of bread, then flip them over and spread the creamy pesto on the opposite side.

Place 4 slices, butter side down, on the panini press. Layer each with 2 slices ham, a small handful of artichokes leaves, 2 slices salami and the other slice of bread.

Close the panini press and grill for 3-5 minutes.

Then remove the sandwiches, open them up and add a handful of alfalfa sprouts.

Press them closed again, cut and serve warm.

Today’s Giveaway is sponsored by BigKitchen.com.

This fabulous $169 Calphalon Removable Plates Grill is the same one I used above, and make a wonderful gift for any cook, or for yourself!

TO ENTER: ~CLOSED~

Leave a comment describing what you would cook on your new grill.

For extra entries:

  • Follow BigKitchen.com on Facebook and/or Twitter.
  • Follow A Spicy Perspective by: Email, RSS, Facebook, Pinterst and/or Twitter
  • Pin on Pinterest
  • Share on Facebook (with a link)
  • Tweet This:  Win a fabulous $169 Calphalon Panini Press from @BigKitchenStore and @SpicyPerspectiv Enter Here: http://aspicyperspective.com/?p=11634 #giveaway

(Share Buttons at the top or bottom of this post.)

Leave a separate comment for each entry ~ 10 possible entries per person!

This giveaway will close and winners will be randomly selected March 19th.

For US residents only.

 Winner: Comment #419 Stephanie

Disclosure:  BigKitchen.com provided the Panini Presses for this post. All opinions are my own.

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634 Responses to “Creamy Pesto Panini and Giveaway!”

  1. #
    601
    Cheryl — March 14, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

    I follow Bigkitchen on twitter

    Reply

  2. #
    602
    Cheryl — March 14, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    I follow Big kitchen on facebook

    Reply

  3. #
    603
    Cheryl — March 14, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    I’ve always wanted to own a high quality grill. Caphalon counter top grill looks sleek and i trust the quality as well. If I win this grill, I would prepare spicy and flavorful ‘Chapli Kebabs’. Also, grill vegetables,bread,burgers,sandwiches. This will be great summer gift for us. Thanks for hosting this giveaway and the recipe for a flavorful panini.

    Reply

  4. #
    604
    Elena V — March 14, 2012 @ 3:03 pm
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    605
    Mb — March 14, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    grilled veggies!

    Reply

  6. #
    606
    Tara Noland — March 15, 2012 @ 8:29 am

    I tweeted the contest!!

    Reply

  7. #
    607
    Tara Noland — March 15, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    I am following you on Twitter

    Reply

  8. #
    608
    Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff — March 15, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    Follow you on Facebook

    Reply

  9. #
    609
    Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff — March 15, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    Follow you on Twitter

    Reply

  10. #
    610
    Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff — March 15, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    Subscribe via Google Reader

    Reply

  11. #
    611
    Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff — March 15, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    Shared it on Facebook

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  12. #
    612
    Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff — March 15, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    And tweeted about it!

    Reply

  13. #
    613
    Kim — March 15, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    I would love to make grilled lemon chicken and asparagus!!

    Reply

  14. #
    614
    Daniella G. — March 15, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

    following a spicy perspective on facebook

    Reply

  15. #
    615
    Michelle — March 15, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    I like BK on twitter

    Reply

  16. #
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    Michelle — March 15, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    I like you on twitter

    Reply

  17. #
    617
    Daniella G. — March 15, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    pinned it on pinterest

    Reply

  18. #
    618
    Jenah Parris — March 15, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    I would LOVE a panini grill! I love them, but only get to have them rarely, since making them w/o the press is hard. I used to work in a cafe (closed now) and we made turkey, pesto, roasted red pepper and swiss. To die for! I would love to have it again!

    Reply

  19. #
    619
    Jenah Parris — March 15, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

    I subscribe to your site by email.

    Reply

  20. #
    620
    Jenah Parris — March 15, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

    I like/follow Big Kitchen on FB!

    Reply

  21. #
    621
    Jenah Parris — March 15, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

    I tweeted! :)

    Reply

  22. #
    622
    Jenah Parris — March 15, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    I posted on FB about the give away w/a link.

    Reply

  23. #
    623
    NJ — March 15, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    I would love to cook chicken, brie, fig & arugala panini…..

    Reply

  24. #
    624
    NJ — March 15, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

    following bigkitchen on facebook

    Reply

  25. #
    625
    NJ — March 15, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

    following bigkitchen on twitter

    Reply

  26. #
    626
    NJ — March 15, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    following a spicy perspective on facebook…. facebook id: visitr kit

    Reply

  27. #
    627
    NJ — March 15, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

    following a spicy perspective on twitter… id: visitr kitchen

    Reply

  28. #
    628
    NJ — March 15, 2012 @ 11:35 pm
  29. #
    629
    NJ — March 15, 2012 @ 11:36 pm
  30. #
    630
    Karen — March 17, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    Can I panini a lobster roll? I don’t see why not….

    Reply

  31. #
    631
    Carmen — March 18, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    I’m not sure what type of panini I’d try first – maybe something with chicken and lots of vegetables.

    Reply

  32. #
    632
    Carmen — March 18, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    I follow @SpicyPerspectiv (@cmouse01)

    Reply

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