basil pesto greek sandwich | indulge

basil pesto greek sandwich | paperyrain.com

The month of March has been so awesome for us. We have had friends/family visiting every weekend, some for the first time since we left North Carolina over 5 years ago. I love getting all Martha Stewart on our guests (not with insider trading either), so I put together a fun recipe for March’s boys weekend with my hubby’s friends.

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of our friends being a vegetarian. I always want people to be well fed and at home when they visit (that’s my personal goal), so I wanted to make some veggie options the star of the menu for him. I created meals focused on veggies and added meat for the other boys, instead of making meat centered meals just without the meat (the key to really enjoying vegetarian dishes).

I found a sandwich that looked delicious and tweaked the recipe and tada!, the basil pesto greek sandwich.

For this sandwich, I first made a basil-walnut pesto.

basil pesto greek sandwich | paperyrain.com

It is easy to make your own pesto and it allows for some creativity. I chose walnuts for this pesto to give a more nutty flavor (and not to mention, pine nuts are whoa expensive!).

basil pesto greek sandwich | paperyrain.com

recipe below

Next, I prepped all the toppings (it’s about to be a big fat greek sandwich up in here).

basil pesto greek sandwich | paperyrain.com

(bacon added for meat lovers)

Textures and flavor profiles are so important here. You don’t want to end up with a mushy sandwich, so crunchy veggies like cucumbers and red onion are a much needed addition.

basil pesto greek sandwich | paperyrain.com

recipe below

For the meat lovers, bacon adds some great flavor/texture here, along with cracked pepper turkey for a filling addition. Not pictured here is the balsamic reduction that tops off this masterpiece.

Last step is to put it all together.

basil pesto greek sandwich | paperyrain.com

A thoughtful sandwich with a delicious outcome, with or without meat (men tested, bro approved). Add a quick cucumber, tomato, onion salad for a side and you’ve got a yummy, fresh lunch.

Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste (a pinch of salt is plenty. Taste before you add more)
  • 2 cups basil
  • 2 cloves roughly chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino

Instructions

  • Add basil, walnuts, and garlic in food processor, pulse a few times.
  • Drizzle in olive oil, blending until smooth.
  • Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to bowl and stir in cheese.

Basil Pesto Greek Sandwich 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 8 pieces toasted wheat bread
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and halved
  • balsamic reduction
  • 1 jar roasted red pepper
  • small container spring mix
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 4 tbsp. basil walnut pesto
  • meat option: 8 slices of bacon, baked to crispy
  • meat option: 4 thin slices of peppered turkey

Instructions

  • Take 1/2 avocado and smear it on 1 slice of bread. Spread 1 tbsp. basil pesto on the other slice.
  • Add meat if adding meat
  • Sprinkle kalamata olives over avocado.
  • Add red onion slices and cucumber slices, covering surface of bread, on avocado side.
  • Add layer of red pepper, covering surface of bread, on avocado side.
  • Add handful of spring mix and drizzle balsamic reduction over top with spoon.
  • Top with pesto smeared bread and enjoy! 

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