Friday, August 26, 2011

Pesto Turkey Panini

The PureBread Deli is a chain of sandwich shops located around northern Delaware. Last time I ate lunch there, I ordered a grilled panini called the Golden Retriever (all the sandwiches are named after dog breeds). I liked it so much I decided re-create a similar version at home.

The defining component of this sandwich is the pesto. With my garden currently overflowing with basil, I figured it was the perfect time to experiment. For my pesto, I used Pecorino-Romano cheese instead of the traditional Parmesan, and pecans in lieu of pine nuts. That's what I had in my pantry. This recipe is very versatile, and easily modified to fit whatever you have on hand. These sandwiches are a great choice for a light, quick dinner after a long, late summer's day. Plus, basil smells really good. I love taking any opportunity to work with it, because I love the aroma.


1 c. packed basil leaves
2 tbsp grated pecorino-romano cheese
3 tbsp whole pecans
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices whole wheat bread (I used Meyer's Italian)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
4 oz ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 oz deli turkey

1. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the basil leaves until it's very finely chopped. Add in the cheese and pecans. Pulse for another 10 seconds. Blend in olive oil in a stream. Season pesto with salt and pepper.

2. Spread pesto on the slices of bread. Build your panini as follows: bread, fresh mozzarella, 2 tomato slices, turkey, bread.

3. Place in a panini press set to high heat (or use a grill pan over medium-high heat). Sandwich is done when cheese has melted.

Note: I was fairly generous with my ingredients, which resulted in only 3 sandwiches per recipe. However, slice a little thinner, spread a little less pesto, and this recipe can be stretched to 4, maybe even 5, servings.

Source: Cats and Casseroles original recipe, inspired by the Purebread Deli


  1. Turkey and pesto does sound good and your picture is making me hungry. I love Panini sandwiches-glad you posted this one.

  2. What the first commenter said... I want to eat this panini now!

    I love the name of your blog! And I'm passing the Versatile Blogger Award on to you. View the details at

  3. Abby, I think your recipe for pesto sounds really delicious. My basil is going crazy too, so I will make a batch using pecans. I love sandwiches for lunch (usually 1/2) because they are filling and hold me over till dinner better. This will be on my lunch menu for sure!
    Thank you for bringing your creative recipes to ON THE MENU MONDAY! YUMMY!

  4. This recipe looks amazing! Please join in on the fun and come over to Cast Party Wednesday tomorrow to share this tasty recipe with us.
    I hope to see you there!

  5. Oh wow, that looks amazing and is making me so hungry.

  6. This is a great looking Panini, Abby, that fresh basil makes it a real winner. Hope you have a wonderful holiday week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. What a great combination! It looks so tasty! Thanks so much for linking up to Tuesday Talent Show! I would love to have you stop by and link up again tomorrow with more great projects!


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