Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese with Basil Pesto


  • Butter spray (like Olivio or if you prefer spread bread lightly with regular butter or brush with extra virgin olive oil)
  • 4 slices fresh bakery Italian bread
  • 4 slices provolone cheese (or if you prefer mozzarella or cheddar)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil pesto (recipe follows)

Basil Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 12 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Spray non-stick cooking spray on panini maker or non-stick skillet and preheat over medium heat.
  2. Lay out bread slices on a large platter, cutting board or plate. Spray, butter or brush each side of the bread. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and a dash of salt and pepper on each slice. Place two slices of cheese and place on one slice of prepared bread. Top with remaining slice.
  3. Place on preheated panini or skillet and cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.
  4. Sprinkle top with a little more Parmesan cheese. Serve warm with a side of basil pesto.

Basil Pesto

  1. Combine the basil, garlic, cheese, pine nuts in your food processor. Stream in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Process to desired consistency. Add more extra virgin olive oil if pesto is thick.
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