Bacon Pesto Tomato Sandwiches: Crispy and salty thick-sliced bacon sandwiched with a creamy nut-free pesto, ripe summer tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella, these sandwiches are a true winner!
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. BACON!!!
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 here. 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.
That’s usually 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). Otherwise, 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.
And if you’ve got some extra time and extra energy to burn, this roasted tomato basil soup would be an excellent soup to go with these bacon pesto tomato sandwiches. It’s one of our all-time favorites!
Bacon Pesto Tomato Sandwiches
- Prep Time: 15min
- Cook Time: 10min
- Yield: 2 large or 4 smaller sandwiches
Feel free to use your own pesto here. But if you’re looking for a really great nut-free pesto, which you cannot find in the grocery stores, I urge you to try this recipe. It’s so great!
For the creamy nut-free pesto:
1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
¾ cup (6 oz) plain Greek yogurt (non-fat works great)
2 ½ cups basil, loosely packed
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 slices of thick-cut bacon (applewood-smoked or other), cooked until crisp
1 large tomato, sliced ¼-inch thick
Creamy nut-free pesto (recipe follows)
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 loaf of ciabatta bread
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, whir 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.
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