It’s a small round or square of toast made ultra thin by rolling slices of bread out with a rolling pin and then brushing them melted butter before baking. These bite-sized morsels of heaven are topped with a simple pesto mayonnaise, gourmet cheese, a bite-sized piece of crispy bacon and then topped with a vinaigrette-drizzled cherry tomato. It is absolute elegance on a platter and showcases what Chef Hualde does best, which is to create recipes using everyday ingredients that can be made ahead so there’s minimal stress for your holiday parties. What brings the mouth-watering bite together is the dot of pesto mayo on the toast. Use store-bought or your own pesto recipe, making sure that you drain out the oil so the pesto mayonnaise doesn’t get too runny. Everything can be made ahead and then assembled right before you serve. If you don’t get to make it for your holiday get-togethers, think about it for your New Year’s Eve party!
Bacon, Tomato and Pesto Bites
- 1 loaf Texas toast white bread (thick cut)
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb bacon of your choice
- 1 (approx 8 oz) round or wedge of Smoked Gouda or Gruyere cheese
- 1 (approx. 8 oz) container Pesto, store bought or homemade
- ½ cup or more mayonnaise
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3-4 tablespoons salad vinaigrette
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Trim crust from bread. Using a rolling pin, press bread to create thin slices.
- With a 2 inch round or square cookie cutter, cut out shapes from slices of pressed bread.
- Place on baking sheet.
- Melt butter and combine with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Brush butter-oil combination over both sides of bread.
- Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven to cool.
- Cook bacon until crispy.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Slice cheese in thin, one inch pieces and set aside.
- In a small bowl, drain pesto over sieve to remove excess oil.
- Reserve oil from pesto for tomatoes.
- Mix together mayonnaise and pesto and place in squeeze bottle or pastry bag with small hole or tip.
- In bowl with pesto oil, add tomato halves, vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.
- On each piece of toast, squeeze a large dot of pesto.
- Top with slice of cheese, piece of bacon and top with one half of tomato slice that has been soaking in vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately.
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