Sunday, January 31, 2010

Creamy Pesto Sandwich

Have you ever been in a conversation and a sudden craving comes over you that you just can’t shake for days? I got one of those cravings the other evening while talking about pesto with a few friends.  They were sharing their ideas and variations of pesto and I just couldn’t get the green stuff out of my mind.  So I did what any intelligent person would do; I went to the market, bought all the necessary ingredients, came home, and gave into that little craving until properly satiated.
creamy pesto
1 cup firmly packed basil or italian parsley
2 medium cloves garlic, roasted
1/2 cup parmesan or romano cheese (or pecorino cheese for a bolder flavor)
2 Tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
2 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon cream or whole milk
salt and pepper, to taste
Roast garlic for a few minutes in 350 degree oven until aromatic.  In a food processor pulse the parmesan cheese until it is the consistency of bread crumbs.  Add the nuts and garlic until coarsely combined.   Add basil and process until combined.  While the processor is running slowly add the olive oil until a paste forms.  Add the cream/milk and pulse a few times to incorporate.
Spread on some sourdough bread and top with a slice of tomato and mozzarella cheese.  Toast until cheese is melty.  No that’s not a technical term, but it’s fun to use.
Other pesto variations:  Sun dried tomatoes, Roasted red-pepper, artichoke and lemon, spinach, anchovy, olive, mushroom, coriander, miso, anything you can think up.  Experiment and find a flavor you love. I think I like the old fashioned kind best.

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