California Avocado Caprese Panini

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy of California Avocado Commission
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Main Ingredient: Fruit
Serves: 4

Panini grills have revolutionized sandwich making in restaurants, making it quick and easy to create pressed sandwiches to order. At California Avocado Grill, Chef MacLachlan layers ciabatta bread with local produce, including buttery avocados and Roma tomatoes, then gives the sandwich an Italian accent with fresh pesto and mozzarella. The ingredients melt deliciously under the heat of the panini grill.

Ingredients

1 Roma tomato, sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (4-in.) square ciabatta or focaccia bread
2 tbsp. fresh pesto
2 tbsp. prepared aioli
3 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
4 fresh basil leaves
1/4 fresh large California avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
Balsamic vinegar, as needed

Steps

1.       Place tomato slices on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 3 to 5 min. Remove tomato slices from pan and set aside.

2.       Cut ciabatta square horizontally in half to yield two 4-in. square slices. Spread pesto on inside of one slice; spread aioli on the other. Layer mozzarella slices, roasted tomato slices and basil leaves on ciabatta square; cover with second square.

3.       Grill on panini grill or toast on flattop grill, turning occasionally, until cheese is melted. Remove from grill; open sandwich and add avocado slices.

4.       To serve, slice sandwich in half diagonally. Drizzle plate with balsamic vinegar and arrange sandwich halves on plate.