Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and BASIL Panini

It’s PANINI time!

The garden’s bounty is coming in big time! Tomatoes, lettuce, basil, peppers, and other herbs are ripening with this heat that we’re now having ….. so that means that it is time to play catch up with eating and/or freezing everything as it ripens. We’re STILL getting a lot of rhubarb on top of this . . . which I’m freezing.
So today, I’m going to use some tomatoes, lettuce, and basil to make BACON, LETTUCE, TOMATO and BASIL PANINI!!! A twist on the traditional summer sandwich.

. Just ONE of our 7 basil plants . . . growing profusely (lots of pesto ahead!)

Use really good and FRESH Italian bread, large Basil leaves, and fresh tomatoes!
The procedure is basically the same as a BLT sandwich, except to:
  • use ITALIAN BREAD instead
  • add 3 large leaves of basil for each sandwich
  • grill on a panini press
That’s about it. Remember to cook the bacon (or Italian Pancetta) first and then add to the sandwich before grilling. Also add the lettuce AFTER the grilling so that it stays crisp. If you want, you can add the tomatoes after grilling as well; this way they won’t soften up either.
M-mmmmm, summer is certainly here!
.LaLayer the cooked bacon, tomatoes, and basil on 2 slices of Italian bread (notice I left the lettuce off to prevent wilting in the panini press)

Perfect summer tomatoes!
One of the tomato raised garden beds . . . busting at the edges!

Our Panini press (I’m a huge Cuisinart fan)

I hope that you enjoy this summer-time panino!

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  1. says

    How delicious with fresh basil right from the garden! You have such an abundance of basil – my plants are just little sprouts – it’s been raining and cloudy for weeks on end with very little Sun. I can’t wait to make a tasty BLTB!

  2. says

    Oh how yummy! I just started an herb garden and included basil, a lime variety. Can’t wait till it’s ready, I’m going to try out your panini. Thanks for sharing the recipe and wonderful pics.

  3. says

    Hi Reeni, Yes, each year we seem to plant a LOT of basil. So this year I have vowed to make sure that each little leaf is used in summer recipes or made into pesto for later on. Send some of your rain this-a-way! We need more again! You’re gonna love adding basil to your BLT–what a twist!

  4. says

    Redkathy, I’ve never had lime basil before, but I bet it would be great in some Thai recipes. An Asian friend of mine just gave me a Thai basil plant from her garden and I can’t wait for it to grow and to use in some new recipes!

  5. says

    Hi Marie (Proud Italian Cook)….great to hear from you! After I finish teaching summer school (in a few days) I’ll need to do some serious WEEDING and thinning out of plants….it’s gotten quite crowded in there. How’s your garden coming along in the Midwest?

  6. says

    I just spit out my coffee! What’s your secret to this gorgeous basil plant? I live in a sunny climate, where my tomatoes (container grown) do well. My basil is pathetic. I’m lucky to get one jar of pesto a year from one.

    I’m green with envy!


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