While it would be perfectly acceptable for me to swoon about how this bacon pesto tomato sandwich is the only way to highlight your gorgeous tomatoes, I really want to talk about bacon here. It’s not an ingredient that I often highlight in my meals mostly because I feel, unlike most of the food blogging community, that it’s a complementary ingredient – not the star.
However, the thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon that I used in these bacon pesto tomato sandwiches is the star and I built the sandwich around it solely based on the fact that I had a few slices in the fridge that needed to be used up.
And that’s how it goes with me. I can never seem to use up a package of bacon before freezing it (and gah! sometimes forgetting about it until it’s freezer-burned) or it gets pushed to the back of the fridge and is again, forgotten about (which is even worse!).
So with full intentions and an empty stomach, I fried up the leftover fridge-bacon in my kitchen buddy (the cast iron frying pan), sliced some fresh mozzarella and tomato, and whirled a creamy [nut-free] pesto around in the blender. And by the time Kyle ambled in the door, absolutely filthy from playing in the yard, I had a killer sandwich ready for him. I hustled him and his bacon pesto tomato sandwich back out the door (“your shoes!!!”) and joined him for lunch on the porch.
Now you’ve just had a glimpse upon our Sundays in the summer: Me trying to use up the leftovers in the fridge before we start a new week of meals and lunches…and Kyle, the mudhog, showing up when it’s time to eat. Typical, easy-going Sundays.
Bacon Pesto Tomato Sandwiches
source: Smells Like Home original
- 6 slices of thick-cut bacon (applewood-smoked or other)
- 1 large tomato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Creamy nut-free pesto (recipe follows)
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 loaf of ciabatta bread
For the pesto:
- 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) plain Greek yogurt (non-fat works great)
- 2 1/2 cups basil, loosely packed
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Cook the bacon in a large nonstick or cast iron pan over medium heat until crispy; let the bacon drain on a paper towel-lined plate to cool slightly.
- To make the creamy nut-free pesto: Place the garlic, yogurt, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a blender or the bowl of a food processor (a small one if you have it). Pulse everything together until blended, stopping to scrape down the side of the blender/bowl as needed. With the machine running, drizzle the olive oil in a slow stream into the blender/bowl and allow the oil to fully incorporate into the pesto – this should take about 30 seconds The pesto should be easily spreadable. If the pesto is too thick, whirr in a little extra olive oil to thin it out.
- To assemble the sandwich: Slice the ciabatta horizontally down the center and hollow out some of the bread if it’s too thick for sandwiches. Spread the pesto on both sides of the bread. On the bottom half, add the bacon then stack on the tomato and mozzarella slices, then close up the sandwich with the top half of the loaf. Using a serrated knife, slice the large sandwich into smaller pieces. Serve at room temperature.