The Chicago area is supposed to be hit with snow this weekend, so I did what everyone else does when we know it’s coming – go to the grocery store and stock up! I chose to go to our local Trader Joe’s, because I happen to love it, and it was on my way home. I stocked up on all kinds of fruits and veggies and while I was piling things into the cart, I saw a pattern. Crusty bread, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, arugula, basil… all the makings of a veggie sandwich, which I love for breakfast or lunch. Done.
I could eat this sandwich every day.
It’s so good and so filling. First make an arugula-basil pesto and spread it on toasted whole wheat crusty bread like this sourdough loaf, or your favorite crusty bread. Top it with sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and cubed or sliced avocado. I like to sprinkle on red pepper flakes with a little sea salt, but freshly ground black pepper is great too. Slice in half and dig in.
- Arugula-Basil Pesto:
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups loosely packed fresh arugula
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon peel
- Lukewarm water, if needed to thin
- Thinly sliced fresh medium tomatoes
- Thinly sliced cucumbers, English or Persian
- Sliced or cubed avocado
- Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- For pesto:
- Place ½ cup of the olive oil, arugula, basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon peel in bowl of food processor or blender. Process to a thick paste.
- With the motor running, add remaining ¼ oil in a steady stream; blend until smooth. If pesto is too thick for your liking, add 1-2 Tablespoons of lukewarm water and process again.
- To make sandwich, toast bread then spread with pesto. Top with tomato slices, cucumber slices, and avocado. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste, then black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste. Slice sandwich in half and serve immediately.
- Place leftover pesto in a covered container and refrigerate for your next sandwich! It will keep for a few days. Stir before using.