Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Roasted Tomato Pesto Melt {vegan, healthy, gluten-free, easy}


I hinted at an amazing Baked Tomato Sandwich in my last post and I knew I had to share with you my favourite way to put this pesto to some serious good use in what might just be the easiest meal ever. This fantastic Roasted Tomato Pesto Melt is crunchyjuicysavory, slightly salty and tastes like the kind of lunch you would get on the terrace of a shi-shi cafe on a hot summer's day.


The highlight of this Roasted Tomato Pesto Melt is the creamyfresh-tasting, and basil-infused pesto which is smothered allover two slices of hearty bakery bread [A definite plus of living in Belgium where there seems to be an amazing family-owned bakery on every other corner!]. I used my Lightened Up Roasted Broccoli Pesto which tastes good on basically anything I've come to learn. The thick pesto layer is then topped off with two slices of very juicy tomatoes and sprinkled with sea salt, cracked pepper, dried basil and dried garlic, as well as an olive oil drizzle to top it all off. It will be difficult not to sink your teeth into this sandwich at this very moment, and by all means feel free, but toasting it for 15 minutes in the oven takes it just that one step further.


While this Tomato Pesto Melt is roasting in the oven, put together a few greens on the side of your plate, drizzled with some vinaigrette, and when you cannot stand the amazing aromas of the toasting bread, the melty pesto, and the roasting tomatoes any longer ... your Roasted Tomato Pesto Melt is finally ready for consumption. Now doesn't this Roasted Tomato Pesto Melt simply exude summertime?


Speaking of changing seasons, I have some changes going on in my life as well! I've mentioned briefly before that I'm a graduate student here in Belgium. I'm now in the preliminary stages of choosing and preparing a thesis topic. Back in September I chose a topic that I am extremely passionate about but in the past month or so I've been rethinking my initial choice and wondering how I am going to go about researching and writing a huge thesis on said topic which is still very close to my heart but may not the right topic for me.

I spoke with J this weekend about my hesitations with my [past] thesis topic and how I was struggling to find something to study that I love and feel totally passionate about [keeping in mind I have to spit out the longest paper of my life on this topic]. Without a blink, he looked at me and said "you need to write something related to food!!". It seems so obvious that I can't believe I did not think about this before - so much of my life revolves around food, health and dietary choices that the perfect thesis choice has been right under my nose... on my plate this whole time! I'm feeling upbeat and excited about my thesis and future graduate projects again. We started brainstorming on some possible topics I am going to conduct research on. It is still in the very preliminary stages so I don't want to give too much away, but I will be writing my thesis on something related to food, health and food politics! Exciting, right!? Just goes to show that the right choice is often right in front of us and sometimes we just need a second pair of eyes in order to see it!


Wishing you a great week  Let me know what you think or if you try this out in the comments, I love hearing your feedback!



Recipe - Roasted Tomato Pesto Melt

Makes 2 Toasts ; Prep. time 5 minutes, Cook time 15 minutes; 1 serving

Note: Feel free to add sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and whatever your heart desires on top of the Pesto and Juicy Tomatoes. Watch the bread closely in the last couple minutes when it is broiling in the oven to make sure it does not burn. Tastes best warm but also tastes good cold later in the day. For ultimate taste - consume right away!

Ingredients

  • 2 hearty pieces of bread / 1/3 of a baguette {gluten-free for the gluten intolerant}
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Garlic
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil to drizzle

  • Optional Ingredients 
  • Spinach 
  • Arugala
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Tabasco 
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cheese {vegan brand for vegans}

      • Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375f / 190c
  2. Generously Spread pesto on two slices of hearty, thick bakery style bread or a baguette. Slice one big juicy tomato with a sharp knife into thick slices. Place two of the tomato slices on each piece of bread (or more depending on the size of your tomatoes/bread). Add additional optional ingredients if doing so. Sprinkle dried basil, dried garlic, sea salt and pepper on top of the tomatoes and drizzle with Olive Oil. 
  3. Put in oven for 10 minutes, when the bread starts to crisp up and tomatoes are visibly roasting [darkening up a bit], turn the heat up on the stove to broil for an additional 3 - 5 minutes until the tops of the tomatoes and the sides of the bread start to darken considerably. Watch closely to ensure that the bread does not burn!
  4. Take out of the oven. Serve with a side salad.
  5. Devour, Share and Enjoy :)

Nutritional Benefits: A healthy dose of healthy fats,  iron, vitamin A, C and potassium! 











Let's Chat: What's your favourite way to use Pesto? 



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3 comments:

  1. Lovely pesto sandwich! I love a good sandwich with lots of veggies and full of flavor :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words and pin :D I share your love of pesto sandwiches with lots of veggies- they never get old!! :D

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