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Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Melts

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Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Melts

Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Melts

Jessica Braider
This sandwich has a delicate flavor that is ideal for a light dinner. You can make your own variations by adding sweet peppers, baby spinach, prosciutto, smoked turkey or ham, or using sundried tomato or artichoke pesto instead of basil pesto.
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 2- foot long soft baguette or 4 6-inch French rolls (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade) see Tip below for homemade directions
  • 2 tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sweet peppers, roasted red peppers, baby spinach, prosciutto, or sliced smoked turkey, or ham (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or preheat the broiler with the oven rack at least 6 inches from the heating element (alternatively, use a panini maker, if you have one).
  • Carefully cut open the baguette or sandwich rolls, but try to avoid slicing all the way through, so the halves remain attached.
  • Thinly slice the mozzarella cheese 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 place the cheese on the top half of the baguette.
  • Put each open sandwich on a baking sheet with the fillings facing up, and bake it for 2 - 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the baguette is slightly browned on the edges. (Alternatively, broil the sandwiches for 2 - 3 minutes.) Cut it into smaller servings and serve it hot.

Notes

Do Ahead or Delegate: Slice the bread, slice the cheese and refrigerate, prepare the pesto if making homemade, slice the tomatoes.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Season the sandwiches with freshly ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.
Tip: 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.  Toss extra pesto with noodles or vegetables, use it as a dip with crackers, or freeze it for another time.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 330, Total Fat: 14g, 22%; Saturated Fat: 7g, 35%; Cholesterol: 35mg, 12%; Sodium: 750mg, 31%; Total Carbohydrate: 31g, 10%; Dietary Fiber: 3g, 12%; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 27g
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