Ciabatta Sandwich Recipe
Super Quick and Easy
Ciabatta bread was first formed in the Lake Como region of Italy and is popular to this day due to its texture, making it the perfect foundation for many sandwiches (if grilled, often called panini). It is light, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. In the U.S., you normally find it in your grocery store's bakery or frozen department. I've found many varieties - anything from plain to onion/garlic. All varieties, whether in loaf form or 4" x 4" buns, work well for this recipe.
Here we will describe the Basil Pesto Turkey Grilled Sandwich recipe along with many delicious alternatives.
- 1 Ciabatta Bun, any variety
- 2-3 oz Turkey slices, whatever type you prefer. I like mesquite smoked.
- 1 slice Provolone cheese
- 1 tsp Basil Pesto, from the Italian dairy section or made from scratch. See recipe below.
- 1 tsp Mayonnaise, non-fat, low-fat, or regular - preferably garlic mayo. See recipe below.
- As much as you prefer Lettuce
- As many slices as you prefer Tomato
- Put sliced ciabatta bun in toaster and toast lightly.
- Place open-faced ciabatta buns on cookie sheet.
- Spread a light amount of basil pesto onto one side and garlic mayo onto the other.
- Add rolled (not flat) turkey slices onto one side of the bun and a slice of provolone onto the other.
- Place under the broiler, set on Low, until the cheese melts.
- Remove. Move to a plate. Add lettuce, tomatoes, or any other vegetables (thinly sliced cucumbers, sprouts, peppers, etc).
- Unite the halves, and slice down the middle.
- Serve, and enjoy.
The beauty of this sandwich is how easy it is to tweak to your own taste. The foundation of the sandwich, with its perfect texture when grilled, is the ciabatta. You may prefer to:
- Alternate or eliminate meats.
- Choose a different cheese.
- Choose from a vast variety of thinly sliced vegetables.
- Vary your spreads.
Homemade Basil Pesto
If you're a true from-scratch-mama, you may be inclined to make the pesto yourself. If so, here's a great recipe. In blender or food processor, pulse to combine:
- 2 cups packed fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt (or not) and freshly ground pepper to taste
Nutritional Benefits of Pesto
USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory reveals the following health benefits of basil pesto:
Olive oil provides omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the cardiovascular system against disease.
Garlic improves blood pressure by preventing blood lipids from sticking together.
Basil contains antioxidants, which protect healthy cells from toxins that cause disease, as well as Vitamins A and C important for eye health, skin health (helping generate collagen for skin repair), and support of our immune system.
Pine nuts contain healthy fats important for nervous system support.
Although the fat in regular mayonnaise is said to carry the garlic flavor better, I find the fat-free version just as satisfying. Here's a great recipe for garlic mayo. Mix together in a bowl:
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (or less or none)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 clove pressed garlic
- Salt (or not) and pepper to taste
This is such an easy sandwich recipe but with such complex tastes that I serve it to company, and they are always impressed.