Portabella Pesto Panini

Pesto, roasted portabellas, red onion, and fresh mozzarella grilled to panini perfection.

Portabella Pesto Panini - you will love this veggie sandwich! | Kristine's Kitchen

I could eat this sandwich every week. Here’s what we’re working with: ciabatta rolls, pesto, roasted portabellas, sauteed onions, and fresh mozzarella. These ingredients combine to make an amazing vegetarian panini. I happened to have just the right amount of pesto stored in my freezer left over from a recipe I made a few months ago. I had planned to use it as a pizza sauce, but I’m so glad I didn’t because it made these panini unbelievably easy to put together.

My new plan? To make a big batch of pesto every few weeks and store it in the freezer in ¼-cup size portions. Then I will be prepared to make this sandwich whenever a craving hits. I have a feeling that’s going to happen pretty often, considering how we couldn’t stop raving about how good these were throughout our whole dinner.

Portabella Pesto Panini - you will love this veggie sandwich!  | Kristine's Kitchen

I loved the panini with basil pesto, but I may try them with spinach pesto some day, as the original recipe suggests. The quality of the fresh basil at my grocery store is pretty hit or miss, depending on the season, but spinach is always available. To make spinach pesto, simply sub fresh spinach leaves for the fresh basil. This Portabella Pesto Panini? It’s going on my menu plan again soon… maybe even for the second time this week!

Portabella Pesto Panini - a veggie sandwich to die for!  | Kristine's Kitchen

Portabella Pesto Panini

Pesto, roasted portabellas, red onion, and fresh mozzarella grilled to panini perfection.

Printable Recipe

Makes 2 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 large portabella mushroom
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced into half-rounds
  • 2 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup pesto (recipe follows)
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wipe mushroom with a damp cloth and remove stem. Use a butter knife to gently scrape out the gills. Place mushroom smooth-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread the balsamic and soy sauce on top of the mushroom and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Let cool for a few minutes and slice.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. To assemble the sandwiches, spread pesto on inner side of all 4 bread pieces. Lay the mushroom slices and onions on top of the pesto, followed by the fresh mozzarella.
  4. Cook panini in a panini press for a few minutes until cheese melts and bread gets toasty. If, like me, you don’t have a panini press, cook sandwiches in a grill pan or skillet, placing a heavy pan on top to press them down. Serve and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from yes, I want cake.

Pesto Sauce

Makes about 1 1/3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup (2 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

With food processor running, drop garlic through the feed tube to chop. Add pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and basil; pulse until finely chopped. Add olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is running and blend until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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Comments

  1. Looks delicious! Just remember pesto with Parmesan cheese isn’t suitable for vegetarians so maybe replace it with a vegetarian hard cheese :)

    • Thanks for the information! I just learned something new. :) I just researched a bit online and found that some stores, such as Whole Foods, stock vegetarian Italian-style hard cheeses.

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