Garden Fresh Panini

Today I’m guest posting for Marie over at Make and Takes. In celebration of Earth Day, I’m talking all about gardening. For more pictures of spring in Sunny, New Mexico and our garden head over and visit Make and Takes.

We’ve been super busy getting our garden in and ready for the spring and summer months. I do so much cooking and love fresh veggies that we thought a garden project would be a great idea this year. We’ve had a fantastic time putting it together and tending it. I’m anxiously waiting to indulge in the fruits of our labor. We’ve planted asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, green onions, sugar snap peas, lettuce seeds, basil, tarragon, dill, cilantro, parsley, blueberries, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers…I think that’s it! Madeline and I got to eat two small strawberries yesterday. I can’t wait for more sweet and juicy goodness!

I’ve learned that whole chicken is a very frugal way to eat, and it was so tasty! After 2 nights of Easter Dinner, I sliced up the leftovers and froze them. Eric took the drumsticks in his lunch the day after. Last week we used those leftovers for two nights of these delicious paninis. I also used the scraps and chicken carcass to make a great homemade chicken stock. I’d say that the $10 for an organic whole chicken was well worth it! Today I’m sharing a wonderful garden fresh recipe and a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken, like the one we made for Easter Dinner.

Garden Fresh Panini with Leftover Roasted Chicken
a goodLife {eats} creation

Slice bread into pieces a half an inch thick. Place two slices of mozzarella on one piece of bread. Top with chicken, tomatoes, and basil – as much or little as you like of each.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, about a 1/2 tsp of each per sandwich. Top with two more pieces of cheese and the final piece of bread. Grill using a panini press until bread is golden and cheese is melted.

Tips: If you don’t have a panini press, there are many other ways you can achieve similar results. Additionally, you can use sun dried tomatoes as a substitution for fresh. This is a great meal on a hot day with something cold to drink and fresh fruit or veggies on the side.