A few months ago, when Aunt Cleo was visiting, she kept telling me about a delicious sandwich she had at a restaurant in Austin, TX. She said it was simple, just a few ingredients, so I had to try it out. Basically, it is a mouth-watering-open-faced-pesto-tomato-mozzarella delight. It is simply DIVINE! Aunt Cleo, the girls, and I ate these for lunch at least three or four times while she was here for a month. Thank you so much, Aunt Cleo, for telling me about this wonderful recipe.
I make the pesto fresh, although at the beach I made the sandwiches with jarred pesto, in a pinch, when we had a craving for this incredibly easy, delightful treat. I keep a basil plant growing just outside the back door, and as soon as there are enough leaves, I strip that baby down and whip up the pesto.
To make these, simply slice a loaf of French bread on the diagonal. (That makes room for two thick slices of tomato.) Spread each slice of the bread with pesto and plop on a couple thick slices of tomato, side by side. Top with thick slices of fresh mozzarella. (Fresh mozzarella makes these so good. I have made them with shredded pizza mozzarella, but they just aren't the same.) I assemble and bake these on my pizza stone, because it makes the bread nice and crispy, but never burns. Toast these in a 350-375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until the tops are bubbly!
Hope you enjoy trying my latest obsession.
Here is my recipe for pesto. I halve this because I never have 2 cups of basil leaves at one time.
Fresh Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
I chop all this up in my little hand held food chopper, so perhaps my pesto has a little more "texture" than usual. A small food processor would work, too. It keeps well covered in the refrigerator for a while, or so I'm told. I wouldn't know because we eat it up too fast!
Mix up the pesto.