Someone once asked me “If you could only eat one thing every day for the rest of you life, what would it be?” I said, “That’s easy. A really good sandwich.” I love sandwiches. What’s more satisfying than sinking your teeth into a balanced combination of meat cheese and vegetables pressed between two slices of bread? I think the first thing I learned how to say confidently in French during my semester in Paris was “Je voudrais un sandwich au poulet, s’il vous-plait.” or “I would like a chicken sandwich, please.” at the local boulangerie. Obviously, the ingredients you use are important. I personally think that fresh bread is an important factor in a sandwich’s deliciousness. Also homemade condiments such as mayonnaise, aioli, or in this case, pesto make for a superior sandwich. Pesto is one of those magic foods that takes no time to make but packs so much exciting flavor. And if we all could manage to keep our basil plants alive, it’s also something that you could make without having to go to the store, toss it with some pasta and dinner is ready. This recipe will leave you with some extra pesto which can be tossed with pasta or used however you desire.
Caprese Sandwiches with Basil Walnut Pesto
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts halves
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 baguette, sliced lengthwise
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 2 slices soppressata or prosciutto
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
MAKE PESTO: In a food processor, add garlic and process until minced. Add olive oil in a slow steady stream and with processor on add the walnuts followed by the 3/4 cups of basil. Reserve the remaining basil leaves for sandwiches. When the pesto is blended, transfer with a spatula into a bowl and fold in Parmesan. Season with salt and lemon juice.
Spread pesto on one side of baguette. Top with sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, soppressata, and basil leaves. To warm sandwich and melt cheese before serving, place sandwich on skillet over medium-low heat and cover. When cheese is beginning to melt and bread is toasted, cut sandwiches in half and serve.