This sandwich is absolutely amazing! I love basil, mozzarella, pesto…basically anything Italian and this sandwich is a light and easy way to get your Italian fix. I made pesto a lot in the restaurants and developed a great appreciation for it, so basil plants are abundant in my house. The bacon adds a little something extra to this sandwich, but if you don’t eat meat, or just don’t like bacon, you can easily omit the pork and go full force with the cheese and veg. I hope you like this one.
For the Pesto:
1/3 c pine nuts
4 c fresh sweet basil leaves
2/3 c fresh grated parmigiano reggiano
1/2 c olive oil
kosher salt to taste
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into fourths
1/2 c olive oil
8 slices bacon
4 slices mozzarella, cut 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 c grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 c fresh sweet basil leaves, loose packed
2 tbs balsamic glaze
Make your pesto by combining pine nuts, basil and parmesan in a food processor. Process on high and slowly add the olive oil. Season with kosher salt and transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
Time to put your sandwiches together. Cook up your bacon and drain on paper towels. Preheat flattop or griddle to medium high. Brush the cut sides of your bread with olive oil. Toast on flattop until crispy and immediately spread pesto on top and bottom pieces and add 1 slice of cheese each. (It’s a good idea to let your cheese come to room temp just before putting the sandwich together, but not for hours on end. You just want it pliable enough to melt easily against the hot bread) Add tomatoes, bacon and basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, roughly 1/2 a tbs depending on your taste.