I'm going to start off with some important information. Jarred Pesto. Don't do it. I have yet in my lifetime come across the opportunity to find a jarred pesto that actually resembles the taste of pesto. I've searched and searched and even had thoughts in the back of my mind, that maybe jarred pesto is what pesto should taste like...maybe I'm making it wrong. But in reality, I think jarred pesto is worthy enough to be added to the list of "Condiments One Should Never Consume." Miracle Whip, Baconaisse, and Green Ketchup are in need of a new friend.
Taking on the project of pesto making is actually quite convenient for me because my parent's house is essentially encapsulated within a jungle of basil plants. Their thumbs must be way more green than mine because I've nurtured my plant like my own child, and I'm left with just a few withered stalks. Really sad looking stalks. Meanwhile my dill plant is growing at a Jack and the Bean Stalk wacky rate. If only dill was used at a rate that basil is...
Back to the sandwiches. Chicken and pesto go hand and hand as a perfect pair. I bread my chicken and sautee in a pan but I think this would be great using grilled chicken too. I top the chicken with roasted red peppers, provolone cheese, and secret drizzle of mayonnaise (not miracle whip duh). These sandwiches are so good, I like to splurge and buy the ridiculously expensive ciabatta rolls at Whole Foods, because guess what? It is so worth it!
Fresh Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves rinsed
3 cloves garlic peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts (going to be honest, this is optional. I know they are great, but I don't think the addition makes too much of a difference)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Blend all ingredients but the olive oil together in a food processor until it resembles a thick paste. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Adjust to add more olive oil based on your preference.
4 ciabatta rolls sliced in half
3 medium sized cooked chicken breasts (cooked how you choose) sliced.
3 tablespoon Mayonnaise
5 tablespoons basil pesto (recipe above)
4 slices of provolone cheese
Roasted Red Peppers (jarred or homemade)
Spread pesto on one side of the ciabatta roll and drizzle mayonnaise on the other side. Arrange chicken on the sandwich and top with provolone cheese and roasted red peppers. You can serve them as is, or you can grill them on a panini maker, or just in your grill pan.