Thursday, June 6, 2013

Basil Pesto / Eggplant Sandwiches

Cooking. Something I KNOW I won't fail at. After all the painting trials that I went through this week, I decided to stick to something I know today. I love pesto. But I mean, real, homemade pesto. Store bought is fine, but it is expensive for one thing, and its not half as good as homemade. I could eat homemade pesto with a spoon.....ok, maybe they are small bites. But I love it. Tasting it to make sure its just right is my FAVORITE part of making it. This recipe is great, because it literally takes 5 minutes and you can use it on everything. Pasta, vegetables, chicken and my personal favorite, on a chicken sandwich with fresh mozzarella cheese. So yummy. I would eat those for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No really. Its that good. In fact I didn't even like pesto that much until I made it myself. Its that good. You're welcome.

I use the Food Network recipe for Basil Pesto but I use Parmesan cheese (because I always have that on hand) instead of pecorino and I don't usually use all that much oil.

1/2 to 2/3 of olive oil (start with 1/2 cup and if you want more go for it)
Salt and Pepper
2 cloves of garlic
2 Cups of lightly packed basil (don't pack it too tightly....there is such a thing as too much basil)
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 Cup pine nuts (but you can also substitute other nuts)
Food processor

Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese in the processor and pulse until blended well. Season with a little pinch of salt and pepper. With the food processor on, start to pour in the olive oil. I always start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed, but usually 1/2 is plenty. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and pulse again. Taste (my favorite part) and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. If it lasts that long. Makes about 2 cups.

So, as a bonus recipe I wanted to share with you what we have been doing with our pesto recently. My husband picked up a Fine Cooking Grilling magazine at the grocery store a few weeks ago and everything in it that we have made so far has been amazing. But this one....this one will change your life.

Eggplant Sandwiches
2 small eggplant (trust me on this one)
Fresh mozzarella (drained on paper towels)
Olive Oil

Slice up your eggplant so that you end up with about 24 round slices about 1/4 inch thick. Slice up your mozzarella so that you have about 12 slices. Lightly brush your eggplant with olive oil and grill 4-5 minutes per side on the grill; just enough to get some good grill marks. Then place them on the very top rack of your BBQ, let them sit for 15 minutes with the grill turned off. It just needs to be warm for them, this helps them cook a little more. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then spread on a good helping of pesto on each eggplant slice, then place one slice of mozzarella on half of the eggplant slices. Warm in the oven, just until the cheese is melted. About 4-5 minutes. Sandwich the tops (the sides with pesto) together with the bottoms (the side with cheese). Then enjoy the most delicious thing you. Have. Ever. Tasted.


  1. Those eggplant sandwiches are delicious! Hubby and I were huge fans. Thanks for the recipe, Brooke!