To begin with, let me say PANERA BREAD is a great place... esp the sandwiches are too good .They just have two veggie sandwiches:(.. Wish they had more This place was referred to us by our good friend Nimisha. Once we got introduced to it, we started going in there regularly (We still go but the frequency has reduced because i started making a few dishes at home :)).One of the sandwiches that we would order was TOMATO MOZZARELLA PANINI.. Its super tasty:).. After eating it may be 4 times or so, I decided to make my own version of that sandwich. It not only saved me some money but also gave me the satisfaction that it was made by me at home:).
The key ingredients to this sandwich are the fresh mozzarella and the sun dried tomato pesto. I usually buy fresh mozzarella from COSTCO as they are super delicious and in expensive too.
I buy sun dried tomato or oven dried tomatoes (whichever is available) from Costco. In this recipe, I have used oven dried tomatoes.
I roughly pureed them in the food processor to get the pesto.I did not add any other ingredient to the pesto as the jar that I bought from Costco already was flavored with spices, basil, garlic and above all had olive oil. So you see, I did not find any need to flavor it further.
- Torta Sandwich Rolls : 2
- Oven Dried Tomatoes : 1/2 cup
- Fresh Mozzarella : 4 slices
- Fresh Tomato : 4 slices
- Dried Basil Leaves : 1/4 tsp +1/4 tsp
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Butter : 1 tsp
- Take the sun dried or oven dried tomatoes and make a coarse paste using a blender or food processor. If you are using the Sun dried/oven dried tomatoes , that have been refrigerated, then heat them in the microwave just enough to melt the solidified oil.Once the oil has melted, you can then make a paste You can call this coarse paste as TOMATO PESTO. As mentioned earlier, I did not add any spice or added flavors while making the paste because the the dried tomatoes were already flavored .
|After making the coarse paste|
- Slice the TORTA sandwich roll (Do not cut it all the way through.)
- Spread half of the prepared pesto as shown in the pic below.
- Take 1/4 tsp of the dried basil in your palm and rub it with the other palm. This bring out the flavors in them. Sprinkle the dried basil over the pesto.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper as per taste.
- Place two slices of Fresh Mozarella.
- Place two slices of fresh tomatoes on top of the cheese.
- Apply butter on top of the bread/ roll.
- Similarly, prepare the second sandwich. Start heating the grill. Once the grill is well heated place the sandwiches and close the grill.
- Grill them until you get grill marks on the sandwiches and the cheese inside starts melting.
- Once done, remove from the grill and cut each sandwich in to two halves.
- Enjoy the sandwiches with a hot bowl of Tomato-Baby soup.