Recipe | Shiitake Panini with Roasted Asparagus Pesto

Shiitake Panini with Roasted Asparagus Pesto
When I make asparagus, nine times out of ten, I roast it. Steamed asparagus is good and saut√©ed asparagus is better, but neither compare to roasted asparagus. Just like with cauliflower, roasting mellows the flavor of asparagus. It gets caramelized and tender and just perfect in every way. As soon as I saw spring asparagus at the grocery store, I knew I had to buy it, but other than roasting it, I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

Asparagus for Panini Roasted Asparagus Pesto
I played around with different ideas and settled on a sandwich. Roasted asparagus sandwich! You never see asparagus on a sandwich, right?! But then the more I thought about it, I realized there’s probably a reason for that–asparagus would be a little bit unwieldy on a sandwich. So I decided to make an asparagus pesto to spread onto the sandwich and I topped that with roasted shiitake mushrooms and Fontina cheese.

Shiitake Mushrooms
Believe it or not, I grilled this on my Griddler, but I can never get nice grill marks on my panini, no matter how long I let it sit on there. Well, the inside still got nice and melty, which is more important than the aesthetics, I think.

Served with a light spring salad, this Shiitake Panini with Roasted Asparagus Pesto is a great way to say hello to asparagus season. Hello, asparagus season! I will enjoy the heck out of you!

Shiitake Panini with Roasted Asparagus Pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Shiitake Panini with Roasted Asparagus Pesto

A rustic panini made with shiitake mushrooms, Fontina cheese, and roasted asparagus pesto.

Ingredients

  • olive oil mister or cooking spray
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps cut into thick strips
  • 1/4 c. almonds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into four equal pieces and halved lengthwise
  • 1 c. shredded Fontina cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil mister.
  2. Place shiitake mushrooms on one side of baking sheet and place asparagus and garlic cloves on other side. Spray tops with additional olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are softened and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  3. Transfer asparagus and garlic to food processor. Add almonds and olive oil. Pulse until finely chopped but not mashed; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat electric grill or panini press on high. Spread asparagus pesto on each half of ciabatta bread. Top four bottom pieces of bread with a quarter of the mushrooms and 1/4 cup of cheese. Place other half of bread on top and press down.
  5. Transfer panini to grill and close lid. Grill for about 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and head writer of Oh My Veggies. She lives just outside of Raleigh with her husband and their 4 wonky-eyed rescue cats.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. says

    I can imagine biting into a sandwich stuffed with whole asparagus spears wouldn’t make for very attractive eating! This pesto sounds like the perfect solution – sounds so fresh and springy, and I like how you paired it with mushrooms and fontina. I can’t wait to see local asparagus here!

  2. says

    You certainly outdid yourself with this one! So very creative and it looks beyond delicious! It’s asparagus season now so I have to give this a try. Your pictures are beautiful but I especially love the one of the asparagus bunch. Thanks for sharing this!

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