Sunday, February 22, 2009

Goat Cheese: Warm Sandwich, Cool Salad

I have a delightful cookbook called "goat cheese" by Maggie Foard that I love to leaf through but I had yet to make anything from. I had some orzo in my pantry I was itching to use and I found a delicious salad recipe featuring orzo. Naturally I added my own tweaks, but I followed pretty closely. I paired it with a simple panini that turned out SO delicious and creamy with the goat cheese- that's right, it was a double goat cheese kind of evening!

Chicken Pesto Panini

2 garlic cloves, lightly roasted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup spinach leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 loaf ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise and divided into 5 parts
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded
6 ounces chevre, crumbled

Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor. Add basil and spinach and pulse. Keep processor on and stream in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Spread pesto on inside of the ciabatta pieces. Place 1/2 cup chicken on bottom halves of ciabatta and top with 1/4 cup chevre. Top with ciabatta piece.

Cook on a grill pan on medium heat with a large cast iron skillet on top (or in a panini press if you have it) about 5 minutes on each side until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

Spinach Orzo Salad

8 ounces orzo, cooked and cooled
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup pine nuts
5 ounces feta cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and thoroughly mixed. Serve! You can also add chicken to this to make it a main dish, which I did for lunch the next day with leftovers.

1 comment:

Johnny Sandwiches said...

You know what I've always wanted to try? Goat cheese and cabrito in the same dish. Enchiladas maybe? Big ol' savory salad? Some sort of DoubleGoat Burger?

Also, thank you for giving your readers what they want: wall-to-wall coverage of sandwiches.