Turkey Pesto Ciao Panini

Michelle Koletar/Mertz


I just got a panini press last week & have been obsessed with making paninis! This is what I did for tonight & it was delish, so I am sharing. If you don't have a panini press, just wrap the bread loaf in foil & bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes & then slice to your desire.
Serve this with your Italian dressing or balsamic & oil for dipping.
Sorry for the sloppy pix, but my son was yelling he was hungry, & I didn't have time to clean up the drizzles & crumbs, etc., as I was cooking. :)

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10 Min


10 Min


1/2 lb
sliced turkey (or less), i like mesquite or smoked
slices pepperoni
slices of provolone or other cheese
few sprigs of fresh basil
loaf italian bread or other crusty bread (try to get one that fits your panini press)
1/2 jar(s)
roasted red peppers - sliced (about 1/2 cup)
onion - sliced (about 1/2 cup)
fresh mushrooms - sliced (about 1/2 cup)
italian dressing or your own balsamic & oil
pesto (about 1/4-1/2 cup)

Directions Step-By-Step

Slice the onions, mushrooms & red peppers. Get the onions on sautee. I like to add some balsamic & vinegar dressing as I'm sauteeing them. Let them cook a bit.
Slice your sourdough bread lengthwise in half. Brush your Italian dressing or homemade balsamic & oil on the outer sides of bread. Let stand a few minutes.
After the onions are to your liking, add the mushrooms & get them nice & soft. Add your red peppers, stir, then add some minced garlic & a few diced basil leaves. Stir as needed.
Meanwhile, turn your bread over to the inside. I scooped some of the filling out, but be careful to leave enough in there so the sandwich doesn't poke through. Brush one side of the bread with pesto. Begin layering... Then layer turkey slices...
..then the cheese....
...then the pepperoni....
& add the sauteed veggies to the other bread slice. Carefully put these one of top of another. Cut in half like a sub.
Put this on your press & cook away. As it was getting a bit softer, I continued to press down on the handle every so often.
When it's done, remove & let sit for a few minutes for easier cutting, & slice however you wish. I sliced vertically so that no one was just getting the ends as their sandwich. :)
Top with more dressing or balsamic/oil or serve with little cups for dipping. I like tons of oil on my sandwiches -- my son does not, so I like the individual bowls of dressing.

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