Sandwich #130–“Weekend Productivity” Mozzarella and Homemade Pesto BLT

By 300 Sandwiches

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DSC_0815You can get more done with your day when you get up early. Because I was up and at ’em at 8am Saturday morning, I had coffee on the balcony with E, drove to Fairway AND nabbed the closest parking spot possible to the front door, bought enough groceries for the week, unloaded them at the house and still made it over to the gym into time for my 11 am yoga class.

When I got back, E was mopping the floors. You know how I get turned on by the sight of my man mopping the floors! He was certainly going to get a quality sandwich today!

Because we still had some of that delicious mozzarella and a crapton of basil from our balcony garden, I wanted to make mozzarella and pesto sandwiches. Tomato would be a great addition, and so. would. bacon. BACON, y’all. Pesto Mozzarella BLTs!

I had never made homemade pesto before, but it’s surprisingly easy. Just basil, olive oil, pine nuts, a squeeze of lemon and cheese. I used grated Parmesan cheese instead of Pecorino cheese, but I still bought a block of Pecorino cheese when I was at Fairway, so I have it for the next batch. The pesto was so yummy, I ate a fair share of it with a fork straight out of the food processor.

I fried up bacon, sliced a tomato and layered it on arugula and a toasted baguette for an Italian inspired version of a BLT. I served it up to E after he’d clean the entire apartment and started working on his latest, greatest app. We sat outside on our balcony, admiring our healthy herbs.

“Baby, this tastes like pure summer,” E told me.
With a glass of Rose in hand, blue skies overhead, green lush herbs and trees framing our balcony and flip-flops on our feet, it certainly did.

2 buns or baguettes, cut into sandwich sized pieces (about 5″ long)
2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic
1 squeeze lemon wedge
1/2 ball mozzarella, sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced
5-6 strips bacon
1 bunch arugula
2 more tablespoons olive oil (to dress arugula)

Make the pesto: in a food processor, combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil as you blend the ingredients on medium speed in processor. Add juice from squeeze of lemon wedge, and give pesto one last pulse to make sure lemon juice is evenly blended.

Fry bacon to desired crispness in a non-stick skillet on medium low heat. Remove from heat and drain grease from bacon on paper towel-lined plate. Toast baguette (I slice my baguette in half and use top and bottom for sandwiches). Remove from heat and lay out on cutting board or plate. Dress arugula in a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Slather on pesto, then layer on arugula, tomato, then mozzarella, then a leaf or two of basil, then bacon. Top with a small dollop of pesto, then top with other slice of bread. Smush gently and serve. Makes two 5″ BLTs.

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