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