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I hope you are well.
The other day in the 100 degree heat, it was too hot to cook so I made a classic Italian sandwich for lunch that my mother made for us all the time during the hot summer months. I posted it on my personal Facebook page and received so many comments that it brought back childhood memories for so many.
I wanted to share this recipe so you too, can enjoy this sandwich and possibly have it bring back some memories or just need an easy no cook option- best part, very few ingredients.
My mother would make her own bread and grow her own vegetables for this sandwich. She was the best!
This year I wasn’t allowed (doctors orders) to have a garden and it was too hot to bake bread so all ingredients came from Whole Foods.
Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella on Grilled Ciabatta Bread
ciabatta bread – (the best is when it is grilled lightly)
2-3 Heirloom tomatoes (I try and mix the colors)
slice of mozzarella cheese
dash of good Italian oregano
fresh basil leaf (optional)
Choice of either : extra virgin olive oil for the bread or pesto.
- I prefer pesto for this sandwich and I always keep small bags of homemade pesto in the freezer. You can buy pesto in a jar and keep it in your refrigerator if you don’t make your own.
- Whenever I find gorgeous basil leaves I make pesto, so I have it for sandwiches, pasta and breads. Recipe at the end of the post.
The directions for this sandwich are beyond simple. Grill the bread, spread the pesto on the bread slices and a little on the mozzarella slice, layer the tomatoes, dash of oregano, basil leaf and you are done- Enjoy!
Using a food processor is the best way to make pesto unless you have a mortar and pestle and a lot of time.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves of peeled garlic (you can add more if you prefer a strong garlic taste)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (can be substituted with walnuts or almonds if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (I use locatelli)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Remove the basil leaves from the stem, and wash and dry the basil.
Cooks Note: Since my transplant I follow doctors orders to wash all produce in a bowl of cold water with 1 tbsp of baking soda and let it soak for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water and dry. This has been know to take off the most pesticides).
- Add the basil to the food processor bowl along with 2 peeled garlic cloves, pine nuts, cheese, salt & pepper and give it a few pulses.
- While the food processor is running, stream the olive oil into the basil mixture.
- I usually taste for seasoning and if all is to your liking your pesto is ready.
Cooks Note: If you are not using the pesto immediately, you can store the pesto in a bowl with plastic wrap in the refrigerator but make sure the plastic touches the pesto to prevent it from turning brown. Also, you can add pesto to plastic freezer bags, squeeze the air out and store in the freezer
Pesto will last 1 week stored in the refrigerator and 3-4 months stored in the freezer.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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