One of my friends requested “cheesy bread” for the blog, and I really didn’t know what I could make to fulfill that wish. I was thinking I could make cheesy garlic bread in 10 minutes, but I had quite a load of pesto on hand, as well as mozzarella cheese and tomatoes (please refer to my simple Stovetop Mushroom Burger Recipe). Then it hit me. My former college roommates and I have a good friend from Belgium who makes bomb cheesy pesto bread. (Salut, bon ami!)
This cheesy pesto bread is like a Caprese salad, and it was made plenty of times in our college kitchen for countless dinner parties and gatherings. I wish I could find a picture of that scrumptious cheesy pesto bread, but I cannot locate any of those photos on my dang hard drive. Drats. So, I am recreating this dish from my shoddy photographic memory, and I am hoping it is close enough to what I ate in college. This recipe is in the beta test stage and is awaiting approval from our international friend. I’ll admit it’s not as good as his. Still, this is a super fast and delicious recipe that is fit for lunch, dinner, and/or a midnight study snack.
Here’s what you need:
A fat baguette, sliced tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella cheese, and ground black pepper. And dried oregano, if you have it!
Slice the baguette in half length-wise, then slather on some rich pesto. Go ahead and buy it pre-made, no need to make your own pesto.
Slather liberally. And repeat.
Place the thick slices of mozzarella cheese on the pesto.. Mhm. You can also use shredded mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese melts best for this recipe.
Top it off with some beautiful slices of tomatoes. And place the loaded baguettes on a foil-lined baking sheet (to catch all the cheesiness).
Place the bread in the toaster oven heated to 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. You can also use a full-sized oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees.
After ten minutes, your cheese should be oozy, gooey, and yummy; the tomatoes should start to release their juices; and the bread is nice and lightly toasted. If you want to toast it for longer, you can, especially if you want a more golden color on the cheese. After you take it out of the oven, sprinkle the top with black pepper.
A nice sprinkling of dried oregano or any other kind of herb doesn’t hurt.
Cheesy Pesto Bread (in under 15 minutes)
Total time: 13 minutes
Prep: 3 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: about 3 servings
Large baguette bread (about 6 inches in length)
3 tablespoons pesto
4 large slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
If using full-sized oven, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the baguette in half length-wise. Spread pesto on the interior of the bread on the cut side. Place slices of mozzarella cheese over pesto, and then arrange slices of tomatoes over the top of cheese. Place prepared bread on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Place baking sheet in oven for 10 minutes, or just until cheese is melted, bread is lightly golden and toasted, and tomatoes look juicy. (If using a small toaster oven, bake bread in a toaster oven heated to 350 degrees F) Remove baguettes from oven and sprinkle top with 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano. Cut bread into triangles and serve immediately.