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Fresh & Delicious Open-Faced Pesto Sandwiches

Updated on July 15, 2014

Open-Faced Pesto Sandwiches... My Romantic Lunch

What do pesto, tomatoes, provolone cheese, and alfalfa sprouts on a fresh ciabatta roll have in common? They all remind me of my honeymoon. I'll share the story further down the page, but for right now, let me just tell you that these sandwiches are a favorite of mine. It's not just because they bring back such fond memories. It's also because they are quick, easy, light, flavorful, and bring the tastes of summer to lunchtime during any season of the year!

On this page, I'll share the Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich recipe my husband and I adapted for our own and a few other tricks to make it special.

All photos on this page are my own.

Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich
Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich

When we had survived the honeymoon (check out the story below), got all of our gear back in the car, loaded the canoe on top, drove into town, and parked in front of the first restaurant we could find - The Chocolate Moose - we were starving. Anything would have tasted good, but what we got... the Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich... was perfect! I can't even remember which one of us ordered it, because we both enjoyed it so much!

The restaurant gets most of the credit, but our version has grown and changed over time, so here goes...

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 2


  • 2 white or whole wheat ciabatta rolls
  • Pesto
  • 1 ripe tomato (thinly sliced)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • Fresh alfalfa sprouts


  1. Cut the ciabatta rolls open and lay the 4 halves on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread a layer of pesto on each half. Add a layer of ripe tomato slices. Top it with a slice of provolone cheese.
  2. Set your oven to broil and move your oven rack to the top level. Put the cookie sheet directly under the broiler until the cheese on top is starting to bubble and turn golden brown. Take the sandwiches out of the oven. Top with alfalfa sprouts, and enjoy!
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Pesto - on Amazon

Seggiano Raw Basil Pesto Genovese 200 gram Jar
Seggiano Raw Basil Pesto Genovese 200 gram Jar

If you have to purchase your pesto pre-made, this is an excellent brand.

Homemade Pesto
Homemade Pesto

Homemade Pesto

In the summer, when the basil is in season and the local farmers market vendors have more than they can possibly sell before it goes to seed is the best time to make pesto. We can frequently get bags and bags of basil for really reasonable prices.

Then, we have a pesto making party - just the two of us! We turn on our favorite tunes, go barefoot and process pesto in massive quantities. I wash and he runs the food processor. We work together to package it using our vacuum sealer.

Vacuum sealing it right away and keeping it in the freezer means that our pesto is fresh and green and delicious any time of the year when we want to have our sandwiches that taste like summer!

Vacuum Sealers

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer V2244 System with Starter Kit
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer V2244 System with Starter Kit

This vacuum sealer is an Amazon best seller for good reason. It's a good basic sealer, really affordably priced, and it even has an accessory port. That means you can vacuum seal inside canning jars too. It's an excellent feature that I use a lot when I dehydrate foods.


Ripe, Red Tomatoes

We're fortunate to have a local farmer with greenhouses dedicated solely to growing tomatoes, so we enjoy the taste of fresh, local tomatoes year-round. There's nothing like the taste of garden-fresh tomato in the middle of winter... let me tell you. The grower once told me that he eats a tomato every day of his life and he's never sick. I can't argue with that, especially when they taste so good! These are a few of his tomatoes, grown in March.

Click to visit to find out if you have a local tomato producer where you live.

Alfalfa Sprouts
Alfalfa Sprouts

Fresh, Delicious Sprouts

We buy sprouts at the store when we haven't planned ahead and want this sandwich now. But when we're thinking ahead, the absolute best way to top this sandwich is with sprouts we grew ourselves! They taste delicious because they're so very fresh, we know there aren't any chemicals on them, and they last longer because they didn't have to travel. Best of all, the cost pennies to grow, because the seeds are affordably priced and go a long way.

We use a simple tray method like the one below, but if you don't want to buy a special sprouter, there are other ways to grow your own sprouts using a glass jar and cheesecloth.

Have you ever grown your own fresh alfalfa sprouts?

Have you ever grown your own fresh alfalfa sprouts?

See results
Certified Organic Alfalfa Sprouting Seed- 2.5 Lbs - Handy Pantry Brand - High Sprout Germination- Gardening, Growing Salad Sprouts, Planting, Food Storage & More
Certified Organic Alfalfa Sprouting Seed- 2.5 Lbs - Handy Pantry Brand - High Sprout Germination- Gardening, Growing Salad Sprouts, Planting, Food Storage & More

If you're ready to commit to growing your own alfalfa sprouts, you might consider the 2.5 lb bag. I like to keep my seeds in the fridge where they keep for a long time.


The Sprouter is easy to keep clean. However, it does have tiny grooves in it where yucky stuff can grow, so you'll want a good scrub brush to get into every nook and cranny when you wash the trays.


What is your favorite ingredient on the Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich?

Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich
Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich

What is your favorite ingredient on the Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich?

See results

Rough Honeymoon - Good Memories

Drying Out after the Rain
Drying Out after the Rain

A Boundary Waters Honeymoon Tale

Funnier now than it was then...

When my husband and I got married, we registered for the usual housewares and (wisely) camping gear. My husband was just completing his first hectic year of teaching, and I had just finished graduate school. So, the day before the wedding, we realized we hadn't planned our honeymoon yet. Taking the few minutes of downtime we had on a frantically busy day, we hopped online and searched for available entry points for a honeymoon in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We left on our adventure 2 days after the wedding and took all of our new camping gear with us.

Let me just say I have fond memories of the 2 days we spent out there. It was amazing and gorgeous and... it's not possible that more could have gone wrong. It rained and rained, and the wind blew and blew, threatening to swamp our canoe and all of our gear (I will never forget the sound of his voice over the wind and rain, "Just keep paddling honey" followed by the strains of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which he swears to this day was meant to inspire me.).

Finally, at Camp...

Foggy Morning after the Rain
Foggy Morning after the Rain

On top of the trials and tribulations of strenuous paddling, when we were setting up camp, the sun came out for a few short minutes. He took the opportunity to hang our dry bag out of reach of bears. While his hands were very busy trying to knot the line, a large biting fly took a bite of his eyelid. Who knew he had an allergy to biting flies? We didn't until then. His eye swelled shut and we had to have a sit-down conversation about what steps I would take if I needed to evacuate him by myself. Fortunately it stopped swelling and returned to nearly normal the next morning.

After two days of steamy rain, smoky fires and big as your fist mosquitoes, we woke to a sunny morning. Being a writer, I had brought my journal and a single pen along on the trip. I perched on a sun-warmed rock by the water's edge to write about the first sunny morning of our trip and stopped a moment, setting the journal and pen down next to me. A particularly gutsy chipmunk - who had clearly been watching for his chance - dashed in and stole the pen for his very own. He was making a run for it and with lightening quick reflexes I had never seen before (or since), my new husband leaped to the rescue. He terrified the chipmunk, who dropped the pen, but lost his footing, and cracked his knee on a boulder. He was fine, but his knee was sore, his eye was still puffy and red, and most of our gear was soaked.

It was the final straw. We packed it in and headed back to dry land, restaurant food, and a hotel bed in Ely, Minnesota. These are the events that led up to our experience with the Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich.

Link Party Connections

Here are parties and blog hops this page is linked to. Click on any of them to find hundreds more ideas, recipes, crafts, and much more!

Will you be trying the Open-Faced Pesto Sandwich? - And what other things do you think you would add/change to make it your own?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      ill try this Pesto Sandwich Recipe, it looks different

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image


      5 years ago

      Your sandwich looks delicious! I'm a vegetarian, too, and pesto is my condiment of choice. Also, I love the story of your honeymoon. I've been on that what-else-can-go-wrong camping trip.


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