Due to the abundant amount of arugula I had lying around (queue link to previous recipe), I made a batch pesto, and said to myself, ‘Self, this would be a lovely condiment on a panino.
So last Saturday, I suggested that I whip up some warm panini to bring to His Lordship’s while he packed for his big move. Tremendously delighted, he agreed, and I was instructed to meet him after his typical Saturday Ironman workout with sandwiches in tow. So, that’s what happened. Hooray!
Just, uh…don’t wait too long to feed anyone who’s just returned from a 3-hour bike ride.
Portobello Mushroom/Mozzarella/Arugula Pesto Panino
2 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed, wiped of any dirt
1 ball bufalo mozzarella, cut into 1-inch slices
1/2 lb fresh arugula
1/2 cup walnuts
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 slices crusty Italian bread
Extra-Virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper
For the mushrooms: Preheat medium sauté pan to medium heat. Add 2 Tbsps. olive oil to pan. Season caps with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in skillet flesh side down, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, or until mushroom is tender throughout. Set aside to cool in colander, draining off excess oil. Once cooled, cut in half or in 1-inch slices.
For the arugula pesto: Place arugula, walnuts, and garlic in a blender or food processor and puree. While motor is running, stream in olive oil, and blend until emulsified. Pour into a bowl, and stir in Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Assembly: On one slice of bread, spread pesto. Layer with sliced mozzarella and portobellos. Top with remaining slice of bread. Heat panini press to high heat. Press sandwich until cheesy, golden goodness. Once cooled, cut and serve.
Also, feel free to swap out cooked chicken breast in place of the mushroom. Or don’t. Either way, this makes a satisfying lunch.