I made pesto today, and frankly, it was disappointing. I usually add lemon zest and juice, but I forgot to buy some and the result was grassy and a tad bitter. This was also the first time I made it with Thai basil and it didn’t have the bright green color that I was used to. I made chicken pesto pasta for lunch, and I had to add a ton of Parmesan to make it palatable.
Afterwards, I still had 3/4 cup left. But sometimes you just got to make do. Many recipes lighten pesto with mayonnaise or yogurt for pesto sandwiches, and luckily I had big squeeze bottle of sweet and tangy Japanese mayo. It was the perfect compliment and added the acidity and sweetness for a much more balanced sauce. I have a major sweet tooth so I also added sauteed onions! Mushrooms and pesto were a match made in heaven.
While a mild cheese like provolone or mozzarella would have really tied things together, I mixed a few tablespoons of Parmesan to the pesto for a subtle cheesy lilt.
Since I bought a fresh ciabatta roll, I didn’t want to ruin the texture by toasting it. However, feel free to turn my cold sandwich recipe to a hot panini.
Pesto Mayo Chicken Mushroom Sandwich
1 ciabatta roll or 2 slices of bread
a handful of mushrooms (5-6), thinly sliced
1/4 of an onion
2 tablespoons of pesto
1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
2 cooked chicken tenders/ 1/2 a chicken breast
2 tablespoons of Parmesan
Heat a 12-inch skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil and add mushrooms and onions. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until moisture is released and onions begin to brown.
Meanwhile mix pesto and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. If using a roll, split in half. Spread half of the mixture on one slice of bread. Add the cheese to the remaining pesto-mayo in the bowl. Spread the remaining on the other side. Top with chicken and the cooked mushroom and onion mixture.