Gather friends together and try these whole Loaf Panini for a casual evening on the deck or patio. Assemble a couple of these sandwiches ahead of time and finish on the grill when you are ready to serve them crunchy, toasty, gooey, and warm. Add a big leafy green salad and glasses of crisp pinot grigio, and you’ve got dinner.
- Yield: 6 Panini
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large, long loaf French or Italian bread
- ½ cup store-bought pesto or Chive-Basil Pesto
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 6 strips cooked bacon
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.
- Lightly coat the chicken tenders with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken directly over the fire for 2 to 3 minutes per side, turning once. Set aside.
- Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise and lightly brush all sides with olive oil. Spread the pesto on one cut side and the mayonnaise on the other. Layer the grilled chicken tenders, slices of avocado, bacon, and cheese evenly over all and place the bread lid on top.
- Place the panino directly over the fire and set 2 or 3 foil-wrapped bricks on top of the bread to weigh it down. You may need to push the bricks to lightly smash the sandwich. Grill for about 2 minutes, until it’s toasty with good grill marks, then turn it over and grill for about the same amount of time. Set the panino on a cutting board and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Then slice at a diagonal into 6 portions, using a good bread knife.