Green on My Mind–Today it's Pesto!

Basil–How Did I Ever Live Without It?

Written by Gayle

I love panini sandwiches.  But I don’t have them very often because I don’t have a panini pan (and I don’t really want more appliances in my kitchen, if you know what I mean!)  But I will get creative in my methods and make an exception for the classic caprese panini sandwich.

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I’m crazy about pesto–and I make it every month or so.  I toss it with hot pasta, I use it on sandwiches, I use it as a base (instead of tomato sauce) for pizza, and of course, once in a while, I make these amazing sandwiches.  So here’s my recipe for Basil Pesto–use it in your favorite ways!

Basil Pesto

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You’ll Need:

  • 1 bunch organic basil, washed and patted dry
  • 2 cloves organic garlic
  • 1/4 cup organic pine nuts 
  • 1/3 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup organic shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste
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  • In a food processor or a blender, blend the basil, garlic, and pine nuts until well incorporated.  It will not be smooth.
  • With the blades running, carefully pour the olive oil into the mixture and mix for about a minute
  • Add the parmesan cheese and blend
  • Taste, and then add salt if desired.
  • This recipe makes enough pesto for about 1 lb pasta, 4-6 sandwiches, or 1 medium-sized pizza.
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To Make a Caprese Sandwich You’ll Need:

  • Slices of Lassen’s Rosemary Sourdough Bread
  • Additional Organic Olive Oil
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • Slices of Organic Tomatoes (I love to use the Organic Heirlooms that are available now!)
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  • Lightly brush the outside of two pieces of bread with olive oil
  • Spread some pesto on one or both inside sides of the bread
  • Place one piece of bread, oil-side down, on a warm pan on top of medium heat on the stove (if you have a panini pan, go for it!)
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  • Layers some slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on the bread, then slices of tomato.
  • Place the other piece of bread on the top.
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  • I like to place a piece of foil over the sandwich, and then a heavier pan to press the sandwich together a bit (imitating the panini pan.)
  • Watch the sandwich carefully–you may need to lower the heat to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • When the cheese is melted, carefully flip the sandwich over and cook until the bread is golden.
  • Slice in half and serve!

I love to serve these with a simple spinach or arugula salad or some fruit.  They are great for Spring or Summer dinners when you just don’t want to heat up the kitchen!

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Enjoy this gorgeous Spring day with this tasty bit of green!



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