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Grilled Caprese with Arugula Pesto

I’ve officially missed National Grilled Cheese Day this year (April 12), but am told April is National Grilled Cheese Month. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are one of my most favorite, decadent, not-so-healthy things. I’ve searched out Grilled Cheese food trucks in Portland and Seattle to find the ultimate Grilled Cheese.

This is one of my favorites to make at home. It’s a little non-traditional with a nod to one of my other favorite foods, the Caprese Salad. The pesto makes 1 cup, enough for 4-5 sandwiches, depending on how much you like and how big your bread is.

Grilled Caprese with Arugula Pesto

Good sourdough or rustic bread (I love the Country French from Costco)
fresh mozzarella, sliced
sliced tomatoes
Butter and olive oil for the pan

Arugula Pesto ( makes one cup)
2 large garlic cloves
¼ cup smoked Almonds (or toasted almonds or pine nuts)
1 cup packed Basil leaves
2 cups packed Arugula
⅓ cup olive oil, plus 1 T
⅛ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp kosher salt (if your almonds are salted, use less)
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375F

Make Arugula Pesto:

Place garlic, almonds, basil and arugula in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined, scraping down sides as necessary. (This recipe is intentionally a little salty and quite lemony if tasted on its own. It’s meant to flavor the sandwich, or could be tossed with pasta, or even mixed with a little mayo (or veganaise) for a flavorful sandwich spread.)

Layer fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and arugula pesto between two slices of bread. Heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a heavy bottom oven proof skillet. Lightly brown each side place in the hot oven. Bake until cheese is melty, about 10 minutes.

Thanks to for this delicious recipe!

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Grilled Caprese with Arugula Pesto
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Just a girl who loves to cook, eat, travel, drink delicious wine and craft cocktails.


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