If you live in Chicago, you’ve definitely heard about the madness the NATO Summit is going to create this weekend in and around the city. With world leaders and protesters infiltrating the downtown area, the highway closures and public transportation delays are going to create quite the cluster $!#&. I, for one, am not looking forward to the craziness since I have friends and family traveling in for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. Bad timing, hu?!

All this commotion comes with it’s perks too. My office has allowed all employees to work remotely part of this week and next. Working from home has given me a nice break from business attire and waking up as early. It’s also great being able to enjoy a fresh, hot lunch, rather than a bagged lunch that was prepared several hours earlier.

Today I enjoyed making a Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Panini for lunch. It was so good that I’m almost regretting teasing myself with something so tasty. I prefer a hot sandwich to a cold one any day of the week, so the combination of smoked turkey, roasted red peppers, melty fresh mozzarella cheese, and pesto on perfectly pressed and grilled sourdough was simply divine.

I could get used to this routine.

Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Panini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 panini

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise (optional)
  • 2 slices crusty sourdough or country bread
  • 2-3 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey breast
  • Olive oil for brushing or misting
  • 1/2 roasted red red pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

What To Do

  1. Preheat panini press or a cast iron skillet on the stove.
  2. Mix pesto and mayonnaise. If you don't want to use mayo, you can spread pesto alone; I experimented with both.
  3. Lightly brush or spray one side of each slice of bread with olive oil.
  4. Spread both pieces of bread with a light coating of pesto.
  5. Build the sandwich starting with smoked turkey, roasted peppers, cheese, and then top with remaining sliced bread that has been spread lightly with the pesto mayo, oiled side up.
  6. Place sandwich on panini press or in pan. Grill panini for 3 to 4 minutes. If using a pan, press down on sandwich using a spatula. Flip sandwich once first side is nicely browned. Repeat on other side.
  7. Cut sandwich and serve warm.

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