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Monday, July 29, 2013

Chicken and Vegetable Pressed Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Pesto

 Are you planning on picnicking these summer? If the answer is yes, then I have the sandwich for you! Even if the answer is no, I still have a must-make sandwich for you. These are better than what you’ll buy at your local deli, and that’s a bold statement coming from someone who lives so close to LeGrand’s!
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I got the idea from the pressed roasted vegetable sandwiches by Karen at Family Style Food. I started with her recipe as my base, but made it my own, adding chicken, switching out a bunch of the vegetables, and using goat cheese instead of mozzarella.
These are best if you let them sit overnight, so stick them in the fridge with something heavy on them to meld and mesh all of those flavors together! We didn’t picnic with these, unless you count road-tripping to Chicago a picnic. That being said, they were way better than stopping at our usual: Subway!

Like I did, feel free to get creative, using your favorite combination of meats, vegetables, and cheeses. Be sure to get a good ciabatta bread, and make fresh pesto if you can—it’s the best part of the sandwich!

One Year Ago: Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies
Two Years Ago: Spinach Salad with Nectarines, Blueberries, and Lime Balsamic Vinaigrette
Three Years Ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars

Chicken and Vegetable Pressed Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Pesto
adapted from familystyle food

-2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
-1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1 garlic clove
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-extra virgin olive oil
-2 Roma or plum tomatoes, quartered and seeded
-1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch thick circles
-1 zucchini, thinly sliced, lengthwise
-1 red onion, sliced into 1-inch wedges
-4 ounces goat cheese
-2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
-freshly ground black pepper
-1 square loaf ciabatta bread

1. For the pesto, add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Slowly add 1/3 cup olive oil while machine is running, pulsing until pesto is creamy and blended.
2. Preheat oven to 425F. Line two baking sheets with foil. Toss tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini,a nd onion with olive oil and place on baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until browned. (*Note--you will have extra roasted vegetables...come back tomorrow to see how to use them up!)
3. Cut the ciabatta in half and use your fingers to tear out some of the insides to create a "hole" to place ingredients. Divide the pesto evenly and spread over each half of the bread. Layer the bottom half with chicken, roasted vegetables, and goat cheese. Grind black pepper over to taste. Close the sandwich and press down firmly.
4. Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Place a brick or something heavy on top of the sandwich to flatten for at least two hours, or overnight.
5. Just before serving, unwrap and cut into pieces. (I cut into 4 large pieces)