Turkey Panini with Basil Aioli

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hey, want to make an impressive sandwich without much effort?  Well, make up a quick aioli and fire up the panini maker and this thing is done and done.  Oh and if you don't have a panini maker, it will be okay, I'll explain what to do.  

Musical Selection: The Cave by: Mumford and Sons.  I think they were duped at the Grammys. 
Start by chopping (mincing really) up a bunch of garlic.
Scoop out about a cup of mayo.  I used real Hellman's Mayo but I'm sure you could use the fat free or Miracle Whip considering we are adding tons of flavor.
Add the garlic to the mayo.
Then we are going to chiffonade basil.  Sounds fancy but its real easy.  Start by stacking up your basil leaves.  I like to do it so the biggest one is on the bottom and the smallest is on the top.  I think it makes it easier. 
Once you have them all stacked, roll them up.
And slice them into thin strips.
Chiffonaded baby!
Add the basil to the garlic and mayo.
Season with pepper
And salt
Stir it up.
And slather it on fresh ciabatta bread.  I like to use ciabatta since it holds up to the panini press.  Good bread is the secret to a good panini.  Ps. do you see all of that flavor!?
Add some turkey.
And cheese.  I used a mozzarella provolone mix and it was wonderful. Okay, once you add the cheese, place the other piece of bread on top and put into your preheated panini press on high.  If you don't have a panini press you can preheat a large skillet and place the sandwich into the skillet like you are cooking grilled cheese buuut...you place another large, heavy skillet on top of it to press it.  If you really want to do it, use a cast iron skillet or more than one skillet on top.  With this method, you will need to flip the panini half way through the cooking process.
A few minutes later and this is what you will have.  Mr. Schwartz raved about this panini.  He looooved the mayo which I was kind of nervous about since he "hates pesto."  

Turkey Panini with Basil Aioli 

For the Mayo:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mayo
5 medium sized basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon (or so) black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt 

For the Sandwich
prepared mayo
4 slices ciabatta bread
6 slices deli turkey
2 slices (or about 1/2 cup) mozzarella/provolone cheese 

Combined all of the ingredients for the mayo.  

Slather mayo on each inside of the ciabatta bread.  Place the turkey on one slice, top with cheese. Place the other piece of bread on top of the cheese to make the sandwich.  

Place the sandwich into a preheated panini press on high.  If you don't have a panini press, preheat a large skillet and place sandwich in the pan.  Top with another heavy skillet to press the panini.  If you use the pan method you will need to flip the panini 1/2 way through.  I cooked the panini for 6 minutes in the panini maker, just until the cheese was melted. 

Enjoy! 

Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz 

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