Skip to main content

Pat's Pesto Toast

My friend Pat lives on a sweet little lake where I imagine these days she's playing with her two grandchildren on the shore and contemplating what book to read next. Or what quilting pattern to begin. Or what sweater to knit. She's one of those types - good at everything she sets her hand to - and utterly charming to boot. I'm lucky to count her as a friend.

And she's a great cook. I can't deny that one reason I lost 17 kilograms upon moving to Japan is that I wasn't sitting at Pat's table happily devouring the delicacies she placed in front of me. (To be clear, I'm not complaining. Pat's food and company are among the best I know, and I'm always glad to feast at her house.) She tries new recipes without hesitation, and then tweaks them to suit her cupboard holdings, taste preferences, and interests. I miss those long evenings spent sampling her latest concoction while telling stories, playing cards, and always laughing long and hard.

So, of course when we went home in February her house is one where we stopped and stayed. And, of course, her house is where nearly fifty of our nearest and dearest friends and family joined us for an evening of carousing, game playing, and eating heaps of tasty treats including pesto toast. Pat's husband possesses a bit of a green thumb and along the west side of their home he grows bundles of tomatoes that Pat turns into tomato pie (killer savory pie that has my mouth watering even as I think about it), salads, sauces, and soups. The toast is something of an homage to the summer harvest, and a fantastic appetizer. (I think I ate at least three.) It had me craving my garden even as I soaked up the pleasures of my favorite season.

Pat's Pesto Toast
1 loaf of French or Italian bread
Mozzarella cheese

Slice the bread and broil it on both sides until golden brown. (Pat says this reduces the chance of sogginess.) Slice tomatoes and mozzarella. Slather on pesto as you like. Top with a slice of tomato and a slice of mozzarella. Broil again just long enough for the cheese to get gooey. Serve and eat. Or just eat it standing right there at the stove. It's that good.


Traci said…
First off I love pesto. Second, I love tomatoes, mozzarella, and bread. What's not to love about this recipe. I am going to make it. Thanks for sharing.
Glad you like it, Traci! I'm hoping to make our season's first pesto this weekend (or shortly thereafter) and if the weather ever cools down a smidge I'll be making this toast, too. Let me know how it goes and if you've got anything to add!
Anjuli said…
wow this is a great idea for a nice dish to offer if I have friends over!
Tia Bach said…
This looks divine. Thanks for sharing!
Oh, I'm so glad you are all excited about this recipe! Pat will be, too. Toast away!

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro