American Cuisine

Avocado and Cilantro Pesto Panini


The Go Green Panini

I found this odd, but delightfully unique and tasty panini while searching for a local bakery back in my home town. The pesto is a complex blend of cilantro, pine nuts, pistachios, and parmesan cheese. I hate to admit it, but this is a panini where you won’t miss your meat…although I’d imagine adding grilled chicken breast would be quite tasty too!

Cilantro Pesto on baguette

Use remaining pesto in pastas or as a spread in sandwiches!

Picture update


Cilantro Pesto (recipe follows)
Sourdough bread, sliced
2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon canned (or in a jar) Jalapeno peppers, finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated

Cilantro Pesto

2 bunches fresh cilantro, washed and stems removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup salted and roasted pistachios (can use pecans or walnuts in place of pine nuts or pistachios, or both).
½ teaspoon California or New Mexico chili powder, or cayenne pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


To assemble sandwiches: Spread both sides of bread with cilantro pesto. Mash avocados and mix with diced jalapeno peppers. (Use Ortega chiles if you can’t stand the heat!) Spread avocado mixture on one half of each sandwich. Placed sliced green peppers on top. Finish with grated pepper jack and top with second slice of bread. Grill in melted butter or George Foreman grill, or if you prefer, olive oil in frying pan until cheese melts and bread is golden brown.


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