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Fresh Tomato Salad with Pesto Grilled Cheese Croutons

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  • Author: Lisa Keys
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4


Pesto grilled cheese croutons need I say more?



1/4 cup prepared basil pesto

4 slices thinly sliced firm white bread, crusts removed

1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced

2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing on to bread

2 cups (1 pint) mixed cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced plus fresh sprigs for garnish

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 small fresh chile pepper, seeded, thinly sliced into slivers

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Spread pesto over two slices of bread; top with mozzarella in a single even layer.
  2. Cover cheese with another bread slice forming a sandwich.
  3. Brush both sides of sandwich with olive oil. Grill sandwiches until toasted golden brown on both sides; set aside on cutting surface.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine all tomatoes; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle the basil and chile pepper over the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; toss gently.
  6. Divide salad among 4 serving plates. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  7. Slice grilled cheese sandwiches into bite-size pieces; arrange on salad plates.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: salad
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian