Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saving Lunch

Sometimes I feel like lunch is the most boring meal of the day. Options seem super limited because you've got to make something fast so you can get on with your day. My go-to tends to be sandwiches.

But! I've discovered a little secret - if you say you're having sandwiches for lunch, everyone is going to be thinking about how blah lunch will be. However! If you make that sandwich a "panini," make a more exciting kind of ingredient substitution and add a fun sauce instead of the classic mayo, you've instantly got a drool-inducing menu.

So today I'm not sharing a sandwich recipe with you. Nope. I'm sharing a Chicken and Arugula Panini with a Lemon Truffle Aioli. Yep.


The husband and I loved this panini. And Khale generally dislikes paninis so for him to talk about how awesome it was is a pretty sweet thing. Oh and random note, when you've been food blogging for a while, the cooking compliments transform from "That was one of the best lunches you've made" to "That's so good that you have to blog it!"

So, since the husband ordered me to blog it, I shall. I try and be submissive like that.

First make your lemon truffle aioli. This is where you find out that an aioli is often just a fancy mayo.

Combine mayo with lemon juice, white truffle oil, black pepper and salt. You can add a bit of lemon zest too if you want to really amp up the flavors.

Spread the aioli on your bread (I used focaccia), top it with either leftover chicken breast or sliced chicken meat from the deli, tomato and arugula. Place it in your panini maker and cook until golden brown.

If you don't have a panini maker, just toast it up on a griddle or in a skillet. Enjoy your savory, delicious, non-boring, lunch!

Chicken and Arugula Panini with a Lemon Truffle Aioli
Yields 4 Sandwiches

4 focaccia rolls
2 chicken breasts, sliced (or 1 lb. deli meat)
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup fresh arugula

1/2 cup mayo
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp. truffle oil
kosher salt and black pepper

Stir together all the ingredients for the aioli. Spread it onto the inside of the focaccia rolls and layer with chicken, tomato and arugula. Brush the top with olive oil, if desired. Place until a panini maker or in a heated skillet and toast until both sides are golden brown.


  1. Oh, yummy!! I get together with a group of girls each January, and one of our meals this year was panini's. They were awesome, and a step up from the usual, just like you said. Your recipe for the aioli sounds really good. I might have to try some truffle oil!

  2. I have a panini maker that I love to use for lunch. Or even easy but tasty dinners when my husband is over the road trucking and I dont want to cook a big meal. I had left overs, like bacon and also a plop of cream cheese! I think it makes sandwiches so good, we had tuna melts in them the other night. I also put pickles on mine, I saw another blogger do it, it reminds me of fried pickles and that reminds me of summer at the CO state fair!


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