As much as I am bummed out that summer is coming to an end, I am also very excited that fall is right around the corner. I live in Wisconsin, and yes, there are reasons for that. In particular, the seasons. Now sure, when you think of Wisconsin, you might think of Laverne and Shirley, long winters, or cheeseheads, but Wisconsin is truly a beautiful state, and it seems to be improving all the time. But as noted, summer is on its way out, and that means my grill gets tucked away for a handful of months. I can look at it through my kitchen window, but due to all of the snow, it becomes inaccessible, and that also bums me out.
I have to get my grilling in before January, and as my outdoor herb garden is also coming to a close, I have lots of basil to use up. When I think of basil, I immediately think of pesto. Not sure what it is, but it’s pesto. That is my vision of basil.
And when I think of pesto, I think of warm pasta. As I wanted to go that route and use a pasta, I also wanted to twist it up a bit and surprise my wife. I wanted that comfort that I would get with a bowl of hearty pasta, and possibly garlic bread, but I also needed that grill. This is when the idea of a grilled sandwich came to mind, and I am so glad I thought of it. Great pesto, toasted bread, and a thinly grilled chicken breast coated with provolone cheese, really brought no conversations at the table. That is always a good sign.
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, sliced in half, horizontally
- Fresh pesto
- 1 loaf of French bread, toasted
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 slices of provolone cheese
- Fresh garden tomatoes, sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
Begin by warming up your clean grill on a medium-high heat. Season each sliced breast with salt and pepper. Measure the size of your chicken breast, or just wing it and eye it out, and cut your loaf into the size of the breasts, slicing in half, and smearing a bit of light butter on the interior of each slice.
Get the chicken on the grill, and grill each side for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, lower the heat, lather the top of each chicken with a generous amount of pesto, and top with the provolone cheese. Let the cheese melt. During this time, add the bread, butter side down onto the grill, and get it just slightly toasted. Remove, add the chicken, and top with the fresh tomato slices.
The end result is a perfect balance of freshness of the pesto, the melted cheese, and the crunch of the bread. A sandwich that yields a perfect farewell to summer, and a hello to fall.