Pesto, tomato and mozzarella panini

What to do with the leftover pesto, the mozzarella from the pizzas and the sandwich bread? Make my favorite sandwich.

This is a pretty easy one. You can do it in a regular skillet (like I did here), or a grill pan if you want fancy grill marks on your sandwich. Or even a panini maker, if you are super fancy. I’m not sure a George Foreman would be good though, because then some of the ooey gooey-ness would ooze out into that little tray. And you wouldn’t want that.


You don’t HAVE to put butter on the pan, but you really should.

We have this grill weight thing we got at Williams-Sonoma that I use to smoosh my sandwich down. You can use another pan or probably even a (heat-proof) plate. Or just stand there and keep smashing it with a spatula.

Pesto, tomato and mozzarella panini (makes one sandwich)
About 2 tablespoons pesto
2 slices ripe tomato
2-3 slices fresh mozzarella
2 slices white bread
Pinch of Kosher salt
About 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat a panini machine or melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan over moderately low heat. Spread pesto evenly on the bread (one or both slices, depending on your preference). Place a layer of mozzarella on one slice of bread and cover with a layer of tomato. Sprinkle the tomato lightly with salt. Place the other piece of bread, pesto side down, on top.

Spread butter on top of sandwich (or spread butter on top and bottom, if using panini machine). Grill the sandwich, keeping it weighted down, until the bread is crisp and browned (about two minutes). Carefully flip the sandwich and grill until the mozzarella starts to ooze.

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