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Open-Face Pesto, Cheddar and Tomato Baguette Sandwich

Open-Face Pesto, Cheddar and Tomato Baguette Sandwich

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When I lived in Athens, Ohio this open-face sandwich became a staple in my house. I was inspired by a sandwich I had at the Village Bakery called The Pesto. If you have ever been to Athens, you will know that the Village Bakery is one of the best breakfast and lunch spots with fresh baked breads, quiches and yummy coffee. The genius of this sandwich is it’s such a simple concept, yet the flavors are perfectly balanced. After a late night out with my colleagues from Ohio University, I would have everyone over for a post bar snack and make this sandwich! It feels very gourmet and I always felt fancy making it, however it can be thrown together with minimal effort! I am making my own classic pesto in this recipe, but you could use store bought pesto if you have that on hand.

I am a huge fan of Aldi and if you bought the ingredients for this recipe using their pre-made pesto (store bought pesto, baguette, cheddar and tomatoes), it would cost you $2.74 per serving! Another cost saving tip, that my husband and I utilize often, is to look for your grocery stores day old fresh breads. We shop at Kroger for the items that we cannot find at Aldi and the day old baguettes are usually half off. I take them home and cut them into four servings, seal them in a tight bag and freeze them for when we need a quick dinner.

This classic pesto is bright, colorful and fragrant. It is a great recipe to make when you have extra basil that you need to use up and it can be frozen to use at a later date. To freeze, simply fill up ice cube trays with the pesto, place in freezer until frozen, pop the pesto cubes in a plastic bag (date the bags so you know how old they are) and thaw as needed! I can’t wait until summer when I have my own garden grown basil!

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Open-Face Pesto, Cheddar and Tomato Baguette Sandwich


Author: Jodi Boatman Prep Time:  15 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes  

Total Time:  25 Minutes Yields: 8 Servings WW: 14 Freestyle Points

Ingredients:

1 crusty french baguette
1 1/2 C sliced cherry tomatos
2 C shredded white extra sharp cheddar * or more if you want!

Classic Pesto

4 C fresh basil
1/2 C olive oil
1/3 C toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 TSP salt
1 pinch of pepper to taste
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 C parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  • Toast pine nuts - place in a dry skillet over low-medium heat, stir frequently until golden, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove the pine nuts immediately from the pan and place on a heat proof plate to keep the nuts from continuing to toast.  Set aside to cool.

  • Pesto - place basil, olive oil, cooled toasted pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a food processor and process until all Ingredient are finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides and process again to make sure all are incorporated.  Add parmesan and process until smooth.  

  •  Sandwich - Turn on your oven’s broiler.  Cut baguettes into 1/4 and slice lengthwise, spread pesto over baguette, add sliced tomatoes and cheddar.  Place sandwiches on an oven safe baking sheet and put under broiler.  Broil for about 3 minutes.  Keep an eye on your sandwiches.  Each oven is different and you may need more or less time to melt the cheese.  You are looking for the cheese to melt and brown a bit but not burn.  

Remove from oven and enjoy!!!

*Serve with Baby Arugula Salad with Toasted Pepitas and Shaved Parmesan because who doesn’t want more cheese!

Hello, World!

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Classic Whoopie Pie from Pennsylvania Grange Cookbook 1972

Classic Whoopie Pie from Pennsylvania Grange Cookbook 1972

Baby Arugula Salad with Toasted Pepitas and Shaved Parmesan

Baby Arugula Salad with Toasted Pepitas and Shaved Parmesan