Thursday, August 29, 2013

Double Pesto Grilled Cheese Bites | Friday Night Bites

Today begins my five day mini vacation.  I guess you can call it a stay-cation.  Just needed a few extra days tagged onto the long holiday weekend to relax, take care of things around the house and do fun things around town. If you live in the Bay Area like I do, you know that living outside of San Francisco for the next five days will make it challenging to head over the bay bridge, since it is officially closed for preparations to opening the brand new bridge.  Years in the making, it is an exciting time for bay area residents.  Luckily, our plans do not include heading into the city for the long weekend.

As for this week’s Friday Night Bites, I was inspired by the sun dried tomato pesto that I made last weekend for the sandwich I entered into the Mezzetta Make That Sandwich contest.  Hubby couldn’t get enough of the pesto and said it was the secret weapon to a winning sandwich.  My fingers are crossed. In addition to that pesto, I made another wonderful pesto a couple weeks ago, that was equally as delicious.  I thought; why not combine them together to create a suburb little bite.  I love anything mini when it comes to an appetizer – oh heck – I love appetizers.  Oh and I adore a great grilled cheese sandwich, so why not make mini grilled cheese sandwich bites with the sun dried tomato and walnut arugula pesto.

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The result was bite sized grilled cheese sandwiches which you can simply pop into your mouth and savor those divine flavors.  I felt gruyere was the best cheese to combine, but you could use jarlsburg, fontina, swiss or any other cheese that has great melting qualities.  This is a rather loose recipe and you can make as little or as many little sandwiches as your heart desires.  I am sharing how to make twelve mini little sandwiches.  Manja!  Manja!

Double Pesto Grilled Cheese Bites

Makes 12 bites

6 Slices of white sliced bread (not too soft)
1 Cup Grated Gruyere Cheese
Olive Oil

Cut off the crusts on the bread.  Spread the sun dried tomato pesto on one side and the arugula walnut pesto on the other side.  Place 1/3 cup of the grated cheese on one side.  Place the other side on top and press down lightly.  Brush each side with olive oil.  Grill on medium heat in a large saute pan for about 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown on each side and cheese is melted.  Cut each one into 4 peices.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

1 Cup Pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Garlic Cloves, lightly minced
1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme or ½ teaspoon dried Thyme
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Tablespoons Sun Dried Tomatoes, packed in oil

Prepare the Sun Dried Tomato Pesto by adding all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Can be made a few days ahead of time if desired and allows the flavors to develop.

Walnut Arugula Pesto

4 Cups Arugula
½ Cup Walnuts
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon of Salt
8 Grinds of fresh ground pepper

Add all of the above ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Makes about ½ to 2/3 cup.  Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to two weeks.


  1. I adore these bites, double pesto sounds just fabulous! Hope you enjoy your long weekend :).

  2. So cute! I love these...the two pestos sound awesome :)

  3. I was just noticing last night that I had Gruyere, sun dried tomatoes, and pine nuts I needed to use. I cannot wait to go home and try these tonight. Thanks!

  4. Gruyere cheese and walnut arugula pesto! *swoon*
    Have a lovely stay-cation! xo

  5. Would love one of your mini sandwiches ...or maybe two!!!
    Enjoy your mini stay action and a relaxing long weekend :)

  6. I think I could eat a few of these mini sandwiches. Hope your staycation was relaxing and everything you needed!


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