if i could eat at only one restaurant for the rest of my life, it would be nordstrom cafe. hands down, no questions asked. i worked in b.p. for a year during college and ate at the cafe every lunch break religiously. i alternated between the parmesan crusted chicken salad and the pesto chicken panini, which is truly beyond perfection. just don't look up the calories. it will totally kill your buzz.
i found this pesto gouda at trader joe's the other day and decided to build my own version of nordstrom's dream panini. this cheese is creamy and gooey and tasty and the sun dried tomatoes are chewy and tangy and the bread has great texture and the combination will make your tastebuds sing! sing, i tell ya!
ps. pretty much everything in the above photos was purchased at trader joe's, including the gorgeous flowers which made the house smell heavenly. you of course can find these ingredients at another grocery store. but maybe not the pesto gouda. if you don't have a trader joe's near you (my most sincere apologies), you can use any provolone, swiss or havarti cheese and your tastebuds will probably still sing.
pesto gouda chicken panini
(yields 2 paninis)
8oz. sliced chicken breast
1 block of pesto gouda
2 heaping tablespoons pesto
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
4 slices of good quality italian bread
1 avocado, sliced
butter, for outsides of panini
1. mix pesto and mayonaise together. don't be shy about it either...the secret to a good sandwich is excessive mayo. duh.
2. generously cover one side of each piece of bread with the pesto mayonaise.
3. build your sandwich by layering chicken, pieces of pesto gouda, sun dried tomatoes, and avocado.
4. put your sandwich together and butter the outside. i bet you didn't guess, but excessive butter is another secret to a delicious sandwich. just in case you were wondering.
5. cook on panini press for approximately 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bread is toasted to desired toasti-ness.
6. slice and enjoy that bad boy! preferably with some sparkly pink lemonade. no better lunch.