The slightly sweet bread adds an interesting twist to this savory sandwich. You may double the amount of pesto and freeze the extra in ice cube trays for later use.
- Yield: 24 sandwiches
- Course: Lunch
- baby arugula
- skinless chicken breast halves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- fresh basil leaves
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- garlic clove
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- natural almonds
- raisin-pecan or cranberry walnut loaf
- rib celery
- For the chicken, combine the broth, carrot, onion and celery in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the chicken, return to a simmer and cook 18-20 minutes, turning once, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F. Transfer to a plate and cool 10 minutes. Cut chicken crosswise into 24 slices.
- Meanwhile, for the pesto place the almonds in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly toasted, 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool 5 minutes.
- Combine the cooled almonds, arugula, basil, cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt in a food processor
- Spread one side of each bread slice with the pesto. Place the bread slices, pesto side up and top 12 of them each with 2 slices of chicken and 1 slice of mozzarella. Top with the remaining bread slices, pesto side down. Cut each sandwich in half and arrange on serving platters. Can be made up to 2 hours ahead if covered with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.