Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pesto-mozzarella-tomato grilled deliciousness

There's this really cool little restaurant a couple of miles from our house called Baja Peninsula. It's sort of a California cuisine-type place (at least, that's what they say. I didn't know California had its own cuisine, but whatever it is, it's good).

A couple months back, my parents took us to lunch there and my dad ordered a sandwich that was the genesis of this one.

A disclaimer before I begin: I'm no Pioneer Woman, who has the most mouth-wateringly delectable food blog ever, but there are some pretty good eats 'round here, and I really love cooking, so the idea of a food blog is fun. Maybe I'll even graduate to step by step pictures, but for now, since this is a posting-after-making-due-to-requests, I have only a picture of the end product.

So here's what you need:

  • Homemade pesto (scroll down for the recipe)
  • Hearty bread that will stand up to being grilled--I like to use sourdough or rye. Panera makes a fabulous sourdough, Wal-mart's California Sourdough isn't too bad, or I've listed a downright tasty rye recipe...keep scrolling.
  • Mozzarella cheese (fresh is best, but the other stuff is still delicious. I've even used string cheese in a pinch)
  • Fresh tomatoes, preferably beefsteak, and preferably straight from the garden
  • Butter, or your hydrogenated oil spread of choice
  • Skillet or griddle

Step 1:

Turn your cooking implement of choice to whatever temperature your stove does best for grilled cheese. We have a countertop electric griddle that is just lovely for this; it's an excellent purchase if you've got some money to throw around in the kitchen.

Step 2:

While that's heating up, butter one side of each piece of bread, slice a nice little pile of cheese, and slice up your tomato. Shoot for slices that are about a quarter-inch thick, and don't skimp on the butter. You don't want anything to burn.

Step 3:

Turn each pair of slices butter-side-in, so they're oozing butter on each other rather than on your clean counter or plate or whatever. Spread pesto on the top non-buttered side of each pair of slices.

Step 4:

When your surface is nicely heated, place one of the slides on it buttered-side-down and quickly assemble the rest of the sandwich. Neil prefers to have the pesto next to the tomatoes, I don't really care one way or the other. In any case, you should have one layer of cheese and a layer of tomato.

Step 5:

Grill to whatever doneness you prefer (just please let the cheese melt!), slice in half for easy consumption, and let this baby slide down your throat (which it will, due to your refusal to skimp on butter, right?). Sooo good.


Autumn said...

Rachael, I JUST made these for lunch and had to tell you my review. It was delicious. Jake's dad came over to help with something, so I was hoping this would be hearty enough for them. Considering his size, I was worried that a sandwich without meat might not be considered a sandwich in his mind. So, I also added bacon (and scrimped a little on the butter) and a slice of turkey lunch meat. And I was also afraid that he/they might not like the pesto, so I also put some mayo on the top slice. Well, they're still outside, but I went ahead and ate (it might be 4:00 until they come in...) I LOVED it. Thanks for sharing. (Oh, and I've got to know if you and the bacon is true or an urban legend? If so, I'm thinking you may not be adding bacon to this sandwich any time soon...)

Rachael said...

i'm glad you loved it! but I must confess I'm not sure what you mean about the bacon--the urban legend bit.