Happy Thursday! Let's dive right in. Caprese panini with avocado basil pesto.
This recipe was actually my husband's idea (he's the best isn't he? 😍)! Sometimes, the inspiration to cook runs a little dry and I just find myself re-watching Lord of the Rings and re-playing a Zelda game. On occasion, the creative mind needs a bit of a rest and I find it best not to force it.
Enter husband. I had no idea what to make for dinner and our pantry was running seriously low. He threw out a couple go to options, my fave summer pasta, vegetarian tacos, etc. and I was just like mehhhh. And THEN he said, "What about a caprese panini?? With ALL the cheese??"
And I just about died. ALL the cheese you say?
Like I said, he's the best.
The avocado basil pesto came from a massive surplus we had in the hanging basket. There's just no way I'm ever going to pass up an avocado sale of any kind, ever. Even if they're rock solid you best believe I'm gunna snag those 5 for $5 avocados!
So we had about 3 super soft ones left and we've had enough guacamole lately to feed an army 😆. Have you ever thrown an avocado or two into a pesto? It's SO GOOD! You have to try it. It adds absolutely delicious flavor to this caprese panini and we may have thrown the rest on some pasta. Avocado basil pesto is too good to waste!
You know what's funny? I don't even own a panini press and this caprese panini is still a ridiculously easy meal to make! I grill them up on a cast iron grill pan and squish them down with a regular cast iron skillet. Works like a charm!
If you don't have a grill pan or a panini press, any regular skillet will get you a caprese grilled cheese that'll taste exactly the same, just minus the grill marks 😎.
Oh and PS. 10 minutes to all this cheesy goodness. Caprese panini with avocado basil pesto recipe coming right up!Print
For the Panini
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 6-8 basil leaves
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
For the Avocado Basil Pesto
- ½ ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- ¼ cup basil leaves, packed
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper to taste
- Make the pesto: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread. Spread avocado basil pesto on the other side of each slice of bread.
- Layer two slices of bread with 3-4 leaves of basil, 2-3 slices of tomato and 3-4 mozzarella slices. Top with remaining slices of bread, avocado side down.
- Prepare a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add sandwiches to the pan and top with a heavy skillet. Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden.
- Alternatively, if using a panini maker, preheat the panini maker. Place sandwiches in maker, and press down, cooking for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Serve immediately.