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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Greens, Beans, and Chicken Panini

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Now that I'm trying to regularly make sourdough from scratch, I can't get enough of the stuff! I've been on the hunt for new panini recipes, as this seems to be my favorite way to use the sourdough. Not only do paninis make for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, but there's something about warm sandwiches that feels fancier...or is that just me? The only downside to a panini hot off the press is that I always manage to scrape the roof of my mouth...toasty bread tends to get a little scratchy. Clearly I'm willing to suffer through, because my rate of panini-making has only increased lately!
Eating Well magazine featured this "vegan" panini, which I managed to un-veganize by adding shredded chicken to it. Vegetarians or vegans could easily omit, however, and would still find themselves with a healthy and satisfying sandwich. We are on a major greens kick lately. They are one of the cheapest and healthiest vegetables you can get at the grocery store so I'm sure to pick up at least one bunch of kale or collard greens each week. For this sandwich, I selected mustard greens and I thought their peppery flavor  was a nice addition to the flavor mix. I actually prepared the bean spread and greens the day before we had these...it then took all of ten minutes to assembles the sandwiches and press them. Easy dinners at their finest!
What's your favorite panini? I need more ideas!

One Year Ago: Coconut Pomegranate Scones
Two Years Ago: Lindsay's Cafe Chocolate Chip Cookies

Greens, Beans, and Chicken Panini
slightly adapted from Eating Well March/April 2012

for the greens:
-1 1/2 lbs hearty greens (I used mustard greens, kale or collards would also work)
-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-2 large leeks, sliced 1/4-inch thick, white and light green parts only
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
-1 cup chicken broth

for the white bean spread:
-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

for the sandwiches:
-12 slices sourdough bread
-cooked & shredded chicken breast

1. To prepare the greens, strip the leaves from the stalks. Cut leaves into 1-inch strips and slice stems into 1/4-inch pieces. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the leeks and chopped stems. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add the sliced greens and broth and turn heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender (20-25 minutes).
2. While greens are cooking, prepare the bean spread. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic, cooking and stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Add wine and cook until most of it is evaporated (6-8 minutes). Add beans and 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Cook until heated through. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or in the bowl of a food processor until almost smooth.
3. Assemble sandwiches by spreading bean mixture on a slice of bread. Top with greens and cooked chicken. Press in a panini press or in a greased skillet, pressing down with a spatula, until heated through.