Cheesy Chicken and Pesto Sandwiches
1/2 c. basil leaves
1 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 baguettes, cut into thirds or 6 long rolls, split in half
1 head of lettuce, shredded 9arugula or watercress also works well)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cored and sliced
Place the basil, feta cheese, evaporated milk, and 1/4 c. of the olive oil in a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer the pesto to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Place the garlic, balsamic vinegar, the remaining 2 tbsp. of Olive oil, and some salt and pepper in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Rinse the chicken breasts under cold water, pat them dry, and add to the marinade. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days in advance.
Heat your grill to medium (you should be able to hold your hand 5 inches above the grill grates for no more than 5 seconds). Grill the chicken breasts for about 7 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through Set aside to cool slightly and then slice into strips.
Cut the bread lengthwise but not all the way through. Spread the pesto on the inside of the bread and then add 1 layer of chicken strips. Cover with some of the lettuce, bell peppers and tomatoes (you can drizzle the veggies with any leftover pesto if you like) and wrap the sandwich in wax paper and then colored napkins. Tie together with kitchen twine and serve.
I can't wait to get a moment to try this sandwich. I think it will be a great item to pack for lunch.