Smoked Turkey, Pepper Jack Cheese, and Basil Panini is a crispy panini stuffed with flavor. Inspired by Oprah’s Love Sandwich.
You know the 5-second rule about dropping food on the floor? I made it up. I didn’t realize it at the time, but think I did.
As a teenage girl, I spent many summer days driving a tractor by myself in the fields of our Indiana farm. Either Mom would bring me a lunch or I would take it with me and it was almost always a cold cut sandwich, more often than not, bologna. I remember accidentally dropping my sandwich on the ground more than once. Since it was all I had to eat, I wasn’t about to throw it away. I figured if I rescued it and brushed the dirt off faster than the germs could hop on (less than 5 seconds), I was safe.
While I never got sick from this immunity-building exercise, I did get tired of bologna sandwiches. In fact, I pretty much avoid cold sandwiches altogether, especially now that I can make a warm and crusty panini instead.
A few years ago, Oprah published the recipe for her “Love Sandwich” which is the basis for this recipe. I use smoked turkey instead of plain, roasted turkey and add tomato slices (dried by pressing between paper towels). Basil is the unique calling card of this sandwich. Substitute spinach or another green if you prefer.
Looking for more ideas and information about panini? I’m not an expert but I know someone who is. Check out Panini Happy. Kathy’s blog is full of creative recipes and helpful hints about making panini. She also gives advice for buying a panini maker, or you can read about making one using two skillets.Print
A simple panini stuffed with smoked turkey, cheese, basil and tomatoes — good for beginners.
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- Olive oil (I use olive oil spray)
- Olive oil mayo
- Pepper Jack Cheese, thinly sliced
- Smoked turkey or rotisserie chicken, thinly sliced
- Tomato, thinly sliced and patted dry between paper towels
- Basil leaves, whole
- Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil.
- Spread light coating of mayo on reverse side of bread.
- Stack slices of cheese, turkey, tomato, basil and more cheese on top of mayo-covered side of bread. Cover with remaining slice of bread–mayonnaise side to the top layer of cheese.
- Cook on a panini grill preheated to HIGH or use a heavy skillet with another skillet placed on top of sandwich–in which case you will need to flip the sandwich after a couple of minutes. Allow to grill until cheese melts and bread is golden brown and toasty.
If you prefer, add basil or spinach to sandwich after cooking.
Keywords: lunch, snack, panini, smoked turkey