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Asparagus Panini with pesto and grilled chicken

Asparagus Panini with pesto & grilled chicken

Asparagus Panini with pesto & grilled chicken - a totally tasty panini sandwich that's a meal in itself. Use leftover grilled or even roast chicken if you like for a quick weekday lunch or dinner.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Sandwiches/Burgers
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 or as many as you like.
Author Barry C. Parsons


For the sandwiches

  • French loaf
  • grilled chicken
  • pesto
  • lemon grilled asparagus
  • sliced red peppers
  • olive oil
  • fresh garlic clove
  • fresh mozzarella slices (optional)

For the Lemon Grilled Asparagus

  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 2 dozen asparagus spears
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the Pesto

  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves , packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated good quality parmesan cheese


To make the panini

  1. Begin by cutting a clove of garlic in half and rub the garlic onto two slices of French bread.
  2. Lightly brush olive oil over the garlic rubbed bread. Flip the slices over because this will be the outside of the sandwich.
  3. Spread both pieces of bread with pesto and top with the grilled chicken, peppers, asparagus and cheese if you are using it.
  4. Place on a hot panini press and grill until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes

To prepare the Lemon Grilled Asparagus

  1. Marinate the asparagus in all of the other ingredients for about 10-20 minutes, before placing them on a medium hot grill for only about two or three minutes.
  2. Roll them several times while grilling. The asparagus should maintain a bright green color or it will be overcooked.
  3. Return the grilled asparagus to the marinade and toss together before serving.

To prepare the Pesto

  1. In a food processor pulse together the walnuts, pine nuts and garlic to break them up.
  2. Add the basil leaves, salt and pepper and pulse the food processor until the basil leaves are well broken down.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the basil and nuts are very well pureed.
  4. Finally add the grated parmesan cheese and process foe only another minute.
  5. Freeze leftover pesto in small airtight containers with a layer of plastic wrap placed over the surface to protect it from discolouring.