On Sunday, my neighbor Janene gave me a big bunch of basil she had grown in her yard. This was a welcome gift, since the basil I tried to grow this year is still about 4 inches tall. (Maybe I forgot to water it.) We talked about how much we like basil. She said she liked to just put it on sandwiches and I thought of this recipe for basil garlic chicken panini. She also told me she expected to see a basil recipe on the blog.
It’s a great summer recipe to use your basil. It meets all the summer requirements. But this is also a recipe you can make any time.
The sauce is a basil garlic mayonnaise. It is really tasty. I like to use rotisserie chicken, but you can also cook your own chicken breast if you are inclined. The actual recipe called for roasted red peppers, but I accidentally bought cherry peppers. They gave it a nice kick and a little sassiness from the pickling brine. So, I’ve always just repeated the happy mistake.
I got a panini press a couple of years ago for Christmas. I love it! But if you aren’t so lucky as to have a panini press, then do not fear, this can still be made. Just assemble the sandwich and place it on a skillet (a grill pan would be perfect.) Then use another frying pan or another heavy pan and place it on top of the sandwich. This will weigh down the sandwich and give you the panini press look. You can choose to flip the sandwich and repeat, or just do the one side, as long as the cheese gets all melty.
Hopefully you have some fresh basil you can use in this recipe. If not, hopefully you have a nice neighbor like Janene.Recipe Source: Adapted from Panini Happy’s Garlic Chicken Panini