Whether you pair it with your favorite pasta dish or call it dinner by itself, this Caprese Garlic Bread with Arugula Pesto will please the palate of any lover of Italian cuisine!
Hello hello, beautiful world! It’s so nice when your entire outlook on life does a 180, isn’t it?
Remember those frozen French bread pizzas? The ones in the orange boxes that were always jammed in the back of the freezer? Handy for a day when no one felt like cooking, and nothing sounded as good as a gooey, greasy, crispy bite of thick bread covered in sauce? (For the record, they still make them, and they taste exactly the same.)
Let’s just say that this Caprese Garlic Bread is the all-grown up version of those. And…arugula pesto! Because it just seemed fitting.
And because I accidentally bought too much arugula and, while it’s my fave green thing in the world, I actually cannot eat salad more than once a week. I just can’t.
So instead – Caprese Garlic Bread with Arugula Pesto.
AKA fancy salad garlic bread pizza! Sort of.
This idea went from being plain old caprese to a caprese flatbread to what you see in front of you minus the pesto, the decision finally being set in stone when I looked in my shopping cart and realized how much my grocery bill was about to be.
This week’s Sunday Supper theme is “Fresh Tomatoes,” and I waited until the last minute deciding on what I was going to contribute (which is pretty unlike me,) so something simple was definitely in order. I’ve been bogged down with work (at BOTH of my jobs – I’m hustling both of them until the end of April,) so my recreational motivation and recipe inspiration levels have been just awful.
It’s been one of those pass out in the first 5 minutes of Friends every night kind of weeks.
That’s not to say that I couldn’t down a slab of this easy, scrumptious garlic bread every night for the next month before collapsing from exhaustion. I’m pretty sure I could find the strength.
I mean, crunchy toasted bread, soaked with garlic butter? You could have sold me right there. But don’t stop there – add mounds of melty mozzarella cheese. Peppery arugula & pesto – as much or as little as you want. Sweet tomatoes, tangy aged balsamic, and a touch of basil.
At least the food coma will be a good one, full of delicious dreams.
Complaints and carbs aside, I’m seriously counting my blessings right now. I’m about to enter a world where all those little blogger dreams I’ve had are a very real and reachable possibility. I’ll take a few weeks of smacking the snooze button a few extra times in exchange for the literal freedom I’m about to have.
See? Prayers do get answered, whether in the form of a life-changing event, or a life-changing recipe. In this case, I call a win-win on both fronts.
Caprese Garlic Bread with Arugula Pesto
- 1 loaf french baguette cut horizontally
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 12 ounces mozzarella sliced
- ½ cup arugula pesto
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 to matoes sliced
- ⅓ cup fresh basil chiffonade
- Sea salt & black pepper to taste
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 cups arugula leaves packed
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Kosher salt
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place both halves of the baguette on a large baking sheet, cut sides up.
- In a medium bowl, stir together softened butter and garlic. Spread evenly on bread halves. Completely cover the top of the bread with slices of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted, turning the broiler on high for final 2 minutes to brown the cheese slightly.
- While the bread is in the oven, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the pecans, garlic, arugula, cheese, and 1 teaspoon of salt; pulse to blend.
- With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and blend until smooth; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust salt as desired.
- After removing the bread from the oven, top with desired amount of pesto, then layer on tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the fresh basil. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, slice, and serve.