Pressed Ciabatta With Mozzarella, Pepita Mojo, And Arugula


Think of this as a caprese sandwich with a twist. Pepitas (AKA pumpkin seeds) get the mojo treatment: Mojo is a sauce commonly made with garlic, citrus, and olive oil and soaks into the bread as the mozzarella melts. Pepitas are a great source of antioxidants, healthy fats, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Look for the light green ones at your supermarket (they’re shelled!). And if you’ve got a panini press, go ahead and use it.

Pressed Ciabatta With Mozzarella, Pepita Mojo, and Arugula
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
2 serves


  • cup raw pepitas

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest plus ¼ cup fresh juice (from 1 medium orange)

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest plus 1½ tablespoons fresh juice (from 1 medium lime)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed

  • 2 ciabatta rolls (about 5 ounces each), split horizontally

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced ¼-inch thick

  • 1 cup loosely packed baby arugula


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium. Add pepitas and toast, stirring occasionally, until beginning to pop and darken slightly, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool 5 minutes.

  2. Place orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, oil, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, and toasted pepitas in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground, about 20 pulses. Allow to stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

  3. Spread pepita mixture on cut sides of ciabatta rolls. Arrange cheese and arugula evenly over bottom halves of rolls and replace the top halves.

  4. Heat a large skillet over medium. Place sandwiches in skillet and cover each with a small piece of aluminum foil. Place a separate heavy skillet on top of sandwiches and press down firmly. Cook, flipping halfway through, until rolls are toasted and cheese starts to melt, 4 to 5 minutes total. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

746 Calories
37g Fat
72g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 746
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 1520mg 66%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 28g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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