BLT Pesto Sliders

Who is ready for football season? Sally and I are. Have you thought about what you will be bringing to your tailgates this fall? For an early season game, take advantage of summer’s heirloom tomatoes and serve these BLT Pesto Sliders. The BLT component comes from the thick cut bacon, arugula, and tomato. With the addition of Basil Arugula Walnut Pesto and mozzarella cheese, you have a sandwich that will satisfy your guests’ appetizer or main meal cravings!

BLT Pesto Sliders
Recipe By:

  • 2 (12 roll) packages of savory butter rolls (in your grocer’s bread section)
  • 1 (16 oz) package of thick cut bacon, cooked and drained on paper towels
  • ¾ cup Basil Arugula Walnut Pesto (see below recipe)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into ¼” slices
  • 3 cups washed baby arugula
  • 2 cups seeded diced tomatoes (mix of red and yellow) drained on paper towels
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • salt

  1. Remove the rolls from the package (do not break them apart). With one hand on top of the rolls, use a long serrated knife and split the rolls in half as if you were dividing a layer cake to fill it. You will have four “sheets” of roll halves Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the pesto and mayonnaise. Set aside.
  3. To assemble the sliders, spread the pesto/mayonnaise mixture on the cut side of each “sheet “of rolls. Place the bottom side of the rolls (2 “sheets”) on a large cookie sheet. Divide the mozzarella slices equally and layer each of the roll bottom sides with cheese to cover. Season the cheese with salt and pepper.
  4. Crumble the bacon and divide into two equal piles. Cover each of the cheese layers with an evenly distributed layer of bacon.
  5. Divide the tomatoes into 2 equal piles. Cover each of the bacon layers with a layer of tomatoes. Season with black pepper.
  6. Divide the arugula into 2 equal piles. Cover each of the tomato layers with the baby arugula. Place the top half of the rolls on the arugula layer to make a sandwich. Gently press all over each of the roll “sheets” to ensure that the layers stick together.
  7. With a long serrated knife cut each of the assembled roll sandwiches into 12 pieces. Serve immediately or wrap the slider filled cookie sheet in plastic wrap to cover and chill overnight until service.

Basil Arugula Walnut Pesto
Recipe By:

  • 4 cups packed washed basil leaves
  • 3 cups packed washed baby arugula leaves
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1¾ to 2 cups extra virgin olive oil (depending on how thick you like your pesto)

  1. Place basil, arugula, walnuts, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and tabasco in work bowl of food processor.
  2. Pulse on/off until the ingredients are chopped together. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the basil and arugula mixture until the pesto comes together and thickens.
  3. Remove the pesto from the work bowl and chill until needed. Pesto can be divided and stored in the freezer and saved for a later use.


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