Chicken, Tomato, & Mozzarella Panini with Basil Mayo
When it comes to taking care of plants, I’m pretty much the worst caretaker. I don’t water them enough. I just stink at it and they always die. I have to replant my basil a few times a year it seems because either the cold or the heat destroys it. And with the lack of rain we get here in the desert, you have to stay on top of such things.
After the baby was born, I was obviously preoccupied and then the cold nights killed it and I have been without fresh basil since. So recently after buying a big beautiful plant of basil to replant in my kitchen, I wanted to just take some by the handful and eat it! Instead of eating just the leaves though, I made a quick basil mayo to use for sandwiches. And once I started thinking about sandwiches, I thought about a panini. I mean, what’s not to love? A hot and toasty sandwich with melty cheese, and in this case, basil mayo! Pretty much the stuff dreams are made of, my friends!
This simple panini is stuffed with chicken, sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil mayo, and then gets pressed and grilled to perfection! This is a great sandwich to make for a fancier lunch or even for a quick dinner with a big salad.
For the basil mayo:
- 1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
- 5 medium-sized basil leaves (can use more or less if desired)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt to taste
For the panini:
- 4 slices of bread of your choice (I used french bread and cut into slices)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast (I used shredded rotisserie chicken)
- 1/2 tomato, sliced into 4 slices
- about 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- basil mayo
For the Spicy Chipotle Mayo:
- Add all ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. Add salt to taste, if needed.
For the Panini:
- Spread a little bit of butter on one side of each piece of the bread.
- Heat a panini grill or grill pan on medium heat.
- Evenly distribute the chicken, tomatoes, and the mozzarella (2 slices per sandwich) on top of two slices, butter side down.
- On the remaining pieces of bread, spread some of the mayo on the side that is not buttered. Place on top of the sandwich. Place the sandwiches on the grill. If you are using a grill pan, place a heavy pan on top of each sandwich. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Gently flip the sandwich over, place the other pan on top once again and gently push down and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the other side is golden brown. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.