From Aviva Goldfarb, author of the SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue, comes this terrific, mouth-watering sandwich that is ready in just minutes! Featuring pesto, a “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom favorite, this sandwich is sure to be one of your favorites, too!
Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Melts
By Aviva Goldfarb
1 2-foot long soft baguette or 4 (6-inch) French rolls
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, (often sold in deli section of supermarket or with gourmet cheeses)
1/4 cup pesto sauce, store-bought or see recipe below to make fresh pesto
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sweet peppers, roasted red peppers, baby spinach, or sliced smoked turkey or ham (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or preheat the broiler with the oven rack at least 6 inches from the heating element. (Meanwhile, prepare the salad, if you are serving it.) Carefully cut open the baguette or sandwich rolls, but try to avoid slicing all the way through, so the halves remain attached. On a baking sheet, toast the rolls in the oven for about 5 minutes until lightly toasted.
Thinly slice the mozzarella cheese. Remove the bread from the oven and spread the pesto evenly on the inside bottom half of the baguette (or rolls). Top the pesto with the tomatoes (and any optional ingredients) and the cheese.
Put each open sandwich on the baking tray with the fillings facing up, and bake it for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly browned on the edges. Cut it into smaller servings and serve it hot. (Alternatively, broil the sandwiches for 2-3 minutes).
Fresh Pesto Recipe
To make fresh pesto, in a blender or food processor, combine 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, 4 cloves chopped or minced garlic (about 2 tsp.), 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.