This recipe is my Aunt Khaki’s. I first tasted it about 7 years ago while she was visiting my family during the summer. At that point in my life, I had never had (or heard of) pesto and I was instantly intrigued. After my first bite of the crunchy deliciousness, I wanted the recipe right away so we could recreate it after she returned to California. Fresh out of high school and with next to no experience cooking, you can imagine my surprise when she said ” well I don’t really have a recipe for it, I just taste it as I go.” I was shocked- “No recipe?! But how can you make something without a recipe?” This is when I discovered you don’t have to go by the rules when you cook. You can add in or omit ingredients and tailor a dish so it fits your personality. As corny as it may sound, I believe cooking is a form of artistic expression. You may like your spaghetti sauce sweet, spicy, chunky, creamy, with mushrooms, or with cinnamon. Whichever you choose, there’s no wrong answer. Thanks to my Aunt Khaki and this pesto bread, I have fully embraced this philosophy (even if it doesn’t always yield tasty results). 🙂
Aunt Khaki and my cousin Camille at my wedding
Now- onto the Pesto and Tomato Bread. Our summer garden is in full swing and we have more basil and tomatoes than I can handle right now. As a result, I was more than happy to make this seasonal for dinner a few nights ago. It’s very simple to make if you have the ingredients on hand. I used walnuts and asiago in my pesto, but you can certainly use pine nuts and parmesan if you prefer.
Robert, previously a pesto hater, actually loved the pesto and tomato bread. There really is a noticeable difference between fresh and canned pesto and his change in opinion is proof positive. If you have a lot of extra produce on hand, this is a perfect dinner or appetizer to make. It can even be frozen for a few weeks. Just pop it in the oven until it’s heated through when you are ready to enjoy it again.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Fresh Pesto and Tomato Bread
- 1 bunch fresh basil (about 3 loose cups)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 5 fresh garlic cloves
- 3/4 Asiago cheese, roughly chopped (plus extra shredded cheese to put on top of the bread)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 fresh baguette
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor or blender, place basil, oil, garlic, walnuts, salt and cheese. Pulse until well-blended.
Slice baguette in half and then lengthwise. Spread a layer of pesto on top of the bread. Place thinly sliced tomatoes on top of the pesto. Sprinkle with asiago cheese.
Put the bread on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the broiler onto high and let the cheese brown (about 3 minutes longer).
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Enjoy.
Source: Aunt Khaki