Sunday, September 13, 2009

Move Over Basil

If you are sick of the same old tomato sandwich, the following recipe is a great way to spice it up a bit. Don't get me wrong, tomato sandwiches of white bread and mayo certainly have there place, but there is nothing I love more than the combination of pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella between a couple slices of crusty artisan bread.

Instead of the traditional basil pesto, I used cilantro, but this sandwich works well with basil if you prefer. Leftover cilantro pesto is great with quesadillas or toss it with some pasta.

Heirloom Tomato, Mozzarella, and Cilantro Pesto Sandwich

2 thick slices of crusty artisanal bread (I prefer Red Hen's Pain au Levain)
1-2 tablespoons cilantro pesto (see below)
2 slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella
2-3 slices of tomato (I used our own Striped German heirloom tomatoes)
Salt and pepper to taste

To assemble the sandwich:
1. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the cilantro pesto on slice of bread.
2. Place 2 slices of the mozzarella on top, followed by desired number of tomato slices.
3. Season tomato slices with salt and pepper, place remaining slice of bread on top and enjoy!

Cilantro Pesto

1-2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh cilantro, washed and dried (substitute basil here if you prefer)
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1. In a food processor, add the garlic and pulse until minced.
2. Next add in cilantro, toasted pine nuts, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano and pulse a couple times.
3. While the processor is on, add the olive oil in a stream and process until blended.
4. Season with salt and pepper.

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