Jeff Benda
Host of No Meat Meals

Pesto & Provolone Panini

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

There is nothing more inviting than a crispy panini sandwich, overflowing with gooey cheesy goodness. They’re easy to make and always promise to deliver big on flavor. I was always taught to deliver on my promises. If you say you will do something, you need to do it. There are very few exceptions, but nobody likes working with the guy who makes a habit out of weaseling out of tough situations. That’s why we practice fraternity with other men. It helps us be accountable to the program and the Christian life. It’s not easy – like making a panini.  But as men of God, we seek out the challenge to live with virtue, and find inspiration to do so in Exodus 90.

“He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.” – Saint Francis de Sales


  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 16 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Mild Giardiniera vegetable mix
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


  1. Spread 2 Tablespoons of the pesto on the inside of each ciabatta roll.
  2. On the bottom half of each roll, layer with 2 slices of cheese, 1 slice of tomato, 2 Tablespoons Giardiniera, another slice of tomato, then another 2 slices of cheese. Cover with the top half of the roll.
  3. Butter the outside of each sandwich with 1 Tablespoon of butter. 
  4. Preheat two cast iron skillets to medium high heat. 
  5. Add olive oil to one skillet, place all 4 sandwiches inside, then place the second skillet on top of the sandwiches, pushing down a bit.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 3 minutes, gently pressing down with the top skillet the entire time.
  7. Carefully remove the top cast iron skillet, then transfer sandwiches to plates and serve.