Artichoke Pesto Paninis
Hot crispy sandwiches make a decadent and delightful dinner. We love this creamy artichoke pesto but if you’re not feeling up to making your own you can use a store-bought pesto or tapenade. Leave the pesto and/or onions off the sandwiches for less adventurous eaters in the family.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 additional Tbsp. for sautéing the onions
- 1 red onion halved and thinly sliced
- 15 oz. canned artichoke hearts drained and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
- 2 Tbsp walnut pieces
- 1/2 lemon use ½ tsp. zest. Add the juice, too, if you want the pesto tangier
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) halved, separating the top from the bottom
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. oil, and when it is hot, add the onions and a sprinkle of salt (for a more pickled flavor, add 1 tsp. of red wine vinegar to the onions when they are almost done cooking). Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are very tender and a little browned, 7 - 10 minutes.
- In a food processor (use a mini if you have one), combine the artichokes, remaining oil, garlic, parsley, walnuts, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. salt, and the pepper, and process until smooth. (This can be done up to a week in advance and refrigerated.)
- Heat a large nonstick skillet or grill pan (or a panini press, if you have one) over medium heat.
- Spread about 6 Tbsp. of the pesto on the bottom half of the bread (reserve remaining pesto to use as a spread or dip), top it with the cheese, then the onions. Put the top half of the bread on top of the fillings and cook the sandwich, pressing it down with a foil-wrapped brick or heavy pot, until the outsides are nicely browned, 3 - 5 minutes per side. Cut the sandwich into sixths and serve immediately.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Peel the garlic, chop the parsley, zest the lemon (and juice it if desired), prepare and refrigerate the pesto, halve and slice the onion, slice the mozzarella if necessary and refrigerate. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes to the pesto mixture. Tip: In search of the fountain of youth? Walnuts contain a compound called biotin, which keeps fingernails strong and may help with thinning hair. The omega-3s in these wonder nuts may also help to reduce wrinkles. Nutritional Information Per Serving (with (only half the pesto is used in the recipe)) (% based upon daily values): Calories 340, Total Fat: 14g, 21%; Saturated Fat: 6g, 29%; Cholesterol: 26mg, 9%; Sodium: 663mg, 27%; Total Carbohydrate: 39g, 13%; Dietary Fiber: 2g, 7%; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 16g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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