This recipe was inspired by allrecipes.com Tubby's Pesto Panini
Ingredients (makes 2)
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
salt to taste if desired (the Parmesan will add salt, so be sure to taste first)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons Creamy Italian Dressing
6 thick slices Italian Bread
1/2 cup lettuce
4 slices of your favorite cheese - I used American for the creaminess
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat your grill pan to 350 degrees F (or prepare an outdoor grill)
Place 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper into blender or food processor. Blend on high until combined. Traditional Pesto has pine nuts, so add 'em if you got 'em!
Grill chicken until cooked through. About 5 minutes per side, but this will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. The internal temp should be at least 160 degrees F. and juices should be clear. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes.
To assemble sandwiches, use 3 slices of bread per sandwich. For each sandwich butter the outside of 2 slices of bread. On the inside of one of those slices spoon 1 tablespoon of the Creamy Italian Dressing. Top the dressing with lettuce, a slice of cheese, and another slice of bread. Top that slice of bread with half the pesto mixture, a chicken breast, a slice of cheese, and the last piece of bread (buttered side out). Place sandwiches in hot grill pan and cover for about 3 minutes each side until desired doneness.