I love recipes that look pretty and taste great and this one certainly did! It was gorgeous! And it tasted great, too.
I made several modifications to the original recipe so I’m giving you the original recipe and the recipe according to Patty.
- 1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey
- 4 tablespoons basil pesto
- ¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or table salt
- 2 3-inch pieces ciabatta bread or four ¾-inch thick slices rustic Italian Bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, arugula or spring garden mix
- 8 small tomato slices
- ground black pepper
Directions – Original Version:
- Blend chicken or turkey, half of the pesto, the Parmesan, garlic and salt. Shape into four ½ inch thick oval patties (to fit bread).
- Halve ciabatta horizontally. Brush cut side of ciabatta or both sides of Italian bread with olive oil; set aside (reserve extra oil).
- For a charcoal grill, place patties on greased rack directly over medium-hot coals. Grill, uncovered, 10 to 13 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (165 degrees), turning once halfway through grilling. Top each patty with a mozzarella slice. Cover grill; grill 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Add bread and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until toasted. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.)
- Arrange greens on toasted bread. Top with chicken patties and tomato slices. Stir any remaining olive oil into remaining pesto and drizzle over all. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper.
Directions – Patty’s Version:
- Make Italian Cheese Bread (I didn’t find Ciabatta bread at my store so I thought I’d just make my own. It turns out that’s not as easy as it sounds. So I decided to make Italian Cheese Bread instead and it worked great!)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Blend turkey (the package I bought was 19 ounces instead of 16 and I used it all so I ended up with an extra patty), half of the pesto (I thought I had basil pesto, and I did, but it was about a hundred years old – so I found a recipe to make my own using dried basil), the Parmesan, garlic and salt in Kitchen-Aid mixer with paddle attachment. Shape into five patties.
- Place patties in a greased baking dish (I used 9×13 glass dish sprayed with Pam). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each patty. Turn off oven. Return dish to oven for about 2 minutes so cheese can melt. Remove from oven.
- To assemble sandwiches, cut Italian Cheese Bread instead squares to fit patties and then slice each square in half horizontally. Arrange spinach leaves on bottom pieces of bread. Top with turkey patties and tomato slices. Drizzle pesto over all and top off with coarsely ground black pepper. Place top piece of bread on sandwiches.
NOTE: We don’t really like open faced sandwiches so we just made regular sandwiches. Also, I’m not opposed to using the grill, but it didn’t work for our schedule.
recipe adapted from Recipe.com magazine, Summer 2011