Monday, February 22, 2016

Pesto Asiago Flatbread Panini

I love quick and simple recipes. They are my go-to's as a busy mom who doesn't have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen most days. Today, I have a quick lunch recipe that I whipped up last week for myself and the kids. It includes delicious asiago and mozzarella cheeses, pesto sauce and naan flatbread...all grilled to melted perfection on the stove.
My husband decided to get a membership to Costco a few weeks back. They just opened recently in our area and even though we had heard a lot about it, we really had no clue how much we would love it! My kid's could spend hours there just traveling around to test out all the free samples. They love that.

Actually some Saturdays my husband takes them for awhile, so I can get some blog work done for the week ahead. They come home with good food, have a great time and I get to be
Everything I used for this sandwich came from Costco. We became obsessed with these flatbreads when my husband found them the first time he ventured over there. We now buy extra bags full and freeze them till we want to use them. 
And can we talk about cheese for a sec? It is my weakness. I think some kind of cheese makes it into about 3/4 of our a meals each week. We are suckers for cheesy comfort foods around here.
I particularly love asiago and was excited to find a big block of it at Costco. My husband and I have been using it on homemade paninis for years. In fact, we used it so often for awhile that I got sick of it and haven't had it for a good long time since I picked this up at last week. Mmmmm. Almost forgot how much I love it!
And I suppose I should have really called this recipe "Pesto Asiago Mozzarella Flatbread Panini" but...ya know...that was a little long. I didn't use a ton on this sandwich but a little bit of fresh mozzarella definitely smooths out the strong flavors of the pesto and asiago.
As far as basil pesto goes, I know you can make it on your own and I have in the past, but for convenience's sake I usually buy it by the jar. Before Costco we were buying Classico Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce (affiliate link*) which was okay, but I have been loving this Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto. Seriously, so good.
So, the pesto gets spread on the cut flatbread, then of course, the cheese gets stacked in the middle. It's ready for the stove!
My husband got me a Pampered Chef Nonstick Grill Press(affiliate link*) which I actually don't use all that often, but it is great for making grilled sandwiches on the stove. I love cast iron and use it almost every day. For this panini I used our Lodge Reversible Griddle(affiliate link*). 

I kept the heat on the low side so the asiago would have enough time to melt without burning the bread. Asiago is pretty slow to melt especially compared to fresh mozzarella. 
I don't recall exactly how long it took to cook...maybe about 3-5 minutes or so on either side...again with the heat on low.
And then I was ready to devour it! Which I did immediately after I took these photos (well, I ate one while I was still taking them to tell you the truth).

I am not a food blogger but I know some people love having hard and fast recipes to go by. Many of the things I come up with on my own don't fall into that category though...sorry. I kinda like to wing it. But here is a rough estimate:

Pesto Asiago Flatbread Panini

One piece naan flatbread - cut in half (The ones that I purchased from Costco are similar to these ones- affiliate link*)
One piece asiago cheese
Fresh mozzarella - sliced thin
1-2 Tbsp of basil pesto sauce

Cut the flatbread in half and spread pesto on the inside. Layer on the cheeses. Coat cast iron pan or griddle with olive oil or cooking spray and heat on low. Place grill press on top (optional). Flip sandwich after bottom side is golden brown. Cook until cheese is melted and the other side is golden brown. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
It was delicious! Next time I think I want to try it out with a thin piece of grilled chicken. There are so many options for flatbread panini sandwiches so I know our membership to Costco will be worth it...haha.

In all seriousness, I really have enjoyed going there and keeping our pantry stocked. My next goal is to start meal planning and prepping frozen ones. I'd also love to start letting the kids help decide ahead of time what we are going to have a few days each month. They help me often with the cooking, but I want them to feel part of the whole process.

I am not a good planner when it comes to food, but I am hoping it might help us to eat healthier and not be stressing come five o'clock! And maybe get some variety of our diet so we can actually give the cheese a rest...a little bit.

If you are a meal planner/prepper, let me know your best tips! I am all ears...

Till next time...
~Alice W.

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*This post contains some affiliate links. I may receive a small commission for any sales made through them. Full disclosure.