By Kelly Elkins
The Caprese sandwich with pesto can be the perfect appetizer at a party but we decided to make it for dinner. The recipe made enough for a dinner for two. When I first got home from the grocery store, I regretted not just buying pre-made pesto but once we tasted it, we quickly changed our minds and were happy we made the fresh pesto. It was amazing and so fresh tasting. I will definitely use the leftover pesto for some pasta salad tomorrow. This whole recipe took about 30 minutes from start to finish so it’s an easy meal to make on the run.
Caprese Sandwich with Fresh Pesto (Capture the Coast, p. 95)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (8- to 10-inch) round foccacia or French baguette
1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
2 cups field green salad mix
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto, process the basil, walnuts, garlic, cheese, salt and olive oil in a food processor until smooth or to the desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl occasionally. Remove to a bowl. Cover the surface of the pesto with plastic wrap. Chill until serving time.
For the sandwich, cut the bread into halves horizontally. Cover the top half with the pesto. Spread the bottom half with the mayonnaise. Layer the mayonnaise half with the cheese, avocado, salad mix and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Replace the top half pesto side down and press gently to adhere. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or baking parchment. Chill until serving time. To serve, unwrap and cut into quarters, securing with wooden picks, if desired. Yield: 2 to 4 servings.