Tag: pesto sandwich

Spinach Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich with Black Olives

Spinach Rucola Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich

The combination of mozzarella di bufala and pesto has been with me for as long as I can remember cooking. No matter if it’s been praised or put down in the media, I always loved its honest simplicity. The little mounds of fine buffalo milk go so well with the fresh sharpness of green herbs, all these concentrated leaves packed with flavours, like basil, rucola or parsley. Mixed with nuts and seeds, parmesan and garlic, this dish offers one of the purest Italian pleasures in the kitchen.

Sometimes, one needs a little change without moving too far away from the original formula, a new variation which can lead to surprising results, nonetheless very satisfying. My pesto was next on this list! I replaced the traditional herbs with another tasty leave, baby spinach. Their fine aroma of iron, its distinct bitterness which isn’t fully developed in the young leaves seemed like the right choice. The obligatory olive oil and parmesan made it nice and smooth but the fresh garlic had to stay out as I was worried that it would be too overpowering. I added some rucola (arugula) instead which gave the spinach a boost, nutty sunflower seeds instead of the sweet pine seeds, a hint of nutmeg, salt and pepper and it was done. It also tastes fantastic with pasta!

My pesto made quite a dramatic appearance on my Italian ciabatta sandwich. I topped it with aromatic black olives which turned them into a stunning Mediterranean beauty. What can I say about the first bite, it was juicy, fresh and green, the soft milkyness in contrast to the oily depth of the black fruits. It was great!

Spinach Rucola Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich

 

Spinach Rucola Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich

Spinach Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich with Black Olives

You can also use the pesto recipe for pasta.

For 2 sandwiches you need

ciabatta bread (with or without black olives), cut into thick slices
mozzarella di bufala, torn into bite sized pieces, 125g / 4 1/2 ounces
black olives 4-6
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, for the topping

For the pesto
fresh baby spinach 125g / 4 1/2 ounces
rucola 25g / 1 ounce plus a small handful
sunflower seeds 2 tablespoons
olive oil 100ml / 3 1/4 ounces
parmesan, grated, 25g / 1 ounce
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
salt 1/4 teaspoon
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of nutmeg
pepper

Purée the ingredients for the pesto in a blender until smooth, season to taste.

Arrange a few rucola leaves on 2 slices of bread and lay the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with the pesto, olives and the crushed black pepper. Close the sandwich and enjoy!

Spinach Rucola Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich

 

Spinach Rucola Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich

 

Spinach Rucola Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich

 

Spinach Rucola Pesto and Mozzarella di Bufala Sandwich

Pea Pesto and Caramelized Honey Bacon Sandwich with fresh Marjoram

Pea Pesto Honey Bacon Sandwich

My first green pesto in 2015! It’s made with peas from my freezer as nature isn’t exactly ready for my summery cravings yet, I’ll have to wait a couple months. This is the only frozen vegetable you’ll find in my kitchen, throughout the whole year as long as they are not in season. I like to add them to easy pasta dishes, especially with asparagus, mustard and leak, and salads (like my potato salad with rucola pesto and peas). The legume’s vitamins and taste are well preserved in these little green balls of summery freshness when they are frozen and they often taste much better then the fresh ones from greenhouses.

Frozen peas have another lazy advantage, they save me from peeling them which I can enjoy at times but today I wasn’t too unhappy about this circumstance. It made the preparation for our sandwich a very quick pleasure. I blanched the tiny legumes for just a minute to keep them crunchy before I mixed them in the blender with fresh marjoram, a little garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. I ended up with the prettiest bright green pesto, the colour was mesmerizing! It was a thick and luscious paste, full of fresh flavours combined with the marjoram’s flowery aroma. I combined it with crisp breakfast bacon fried with a spoonful of honey, the caramelized saltiness was a delicious addition to the pesto’s sweet and velvety smoothness. When a sandwich is made with such tasty ingredients it can easily deal with strong, dark bread. I went for a nutty whole wheat bun, topped with linseeds, sunflower and sesame seeds, the whole composition was hearty yet fresh and light at the same time. May spring come soon to pursue all my culinary cravings that have been waiting for months!

Here’s the recipe for another one of my legume pestos: Fava Bean Pesto with Mint!

Pea Pesto Honey Bacon Sandwich

 

Pea Pesto Honey Bacon Sandwich

Pea Pesto and Caramelized Honey Bacon Sandwich with fresh Marjoram

For 3 sandwiches you need

fresh whole wheat buns, cut in half, 3
breakfast bacon 6 slices
honey 1/2 teaspoon
olive oil

For the pesto

peas (fresh or frozen) 200g / 7 ounces
garlic, quartered, 1 clove
fresh, young marjoram leaves, chopped, 3/4 – 1 teaspoon, to taste (mind that it’s very aromatic), plus a few leaves for the topping
water used to cook the peas 1-3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper

Blanche the peas and the garlic in boiling salted water for 1 minute, reserve 3 tablespoons of the water, drain and quickly rinse them with cold water. Purée the peas, garlic, chopped marjoram, water used to cook the peas, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth, season to taste.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy pan and fry the bacon on medium-high for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp. Add the honey and caramelize for 1 minute.

Spread the pea pesto on the bottom side of the buns, lay the bacon on top and sprinkle with a few marjoram leaves. Enjoy!

Pea Pesto Honey Bacon Sandwich

 

Pea Pesto Honey Bacon Sandwich

 

Pea Pesto Honey Bacon Sandwich

 

Pea Pesto Honey Bacon Sandwich