Light Summer Meal: Cheese Bread with Pesto
My garden is growing. It feels like just last week I sat down with the kids, digging holes and sowing seeds, letting them pat the loose dirt around the newly placed plants. This week I taught them how to care for the plants, watering just the dirt, weeding the volunteers from last year's seeds, stringing the tomatoes. Then I taught them how to pinch the top four leaves of the basil, ensuring they don't go to seed and continue producing bushy, full leaves perfect for savoring summer.
Every summer we gorge ourselves on freshly made pesto. Pulsing together herbs, nuts, and cheese, we liberally swirl it into our pasta, but what else can you use pesto for?
Apart from dunking bread and plopping on piles of pasta, our favorite way to enjoy this herbed delicacy is to liberally spread it over a split French loaf, and then to top that with fresh mozzarella cheese. We pop our cheese bread on the grill or under the broiler, just until the cheese is melted and starting to brown lightly. With a cowl of marinara sauce to dip it in, it's an easy side dish or even a full on light summer meal.
Cheese Bread with Pesto
1 loaf French bread, split lengthwise
½ cup basil pesto
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Preheat grill or broiler. Spread the pesto liberally over both sides of the French bread. Top with cheese slices. Place the loaves on a baking sheet or directly on the grill or oven grates. Heat 5-10 minutes, just until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Makes 8 servings.