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Fresh Mozzarella and Spinach Pesto Melts

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 as a main course

A grilled cheese/French bread pizza hybrid, this dish comes together quickly with the help of a broiler and a hot baking sheet that heats the bread from below. It’s a great meal on its own, or you can cut each one into quarters for an hors d’oeuvre.


  • 4 oz. (4 packed cups) baby spinach
  • 1 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup using a rasp grater)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large slices of rustic white bread
  • 1 large garlic clove, cut in half crosswise
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 400
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 240
  • Fat (g): 27
  • Saturated Fat (g): 10
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 50
  • Sodium (mg): 690
  • Carbohydrates (g): 23
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 16


  • Position a rack 8 inches from the broiler, place a baking sheet on it, and heat the broiler.
  • Pulse the spinach, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a food processor until chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil to make a smooth, creamy pesto.
  • Put the bread on the hot baking sheet and toast until the tops are golden. Rub the toasted sides with one garlic clove half. Spread each with about 2 Tbs. of the pesto. (Save the remaining pesto for another use.) Arrange the mozzarella over the pesto. Top with the olives. Broil just until the cheese is melted, 2 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Maydai | 07/26/2017

    Great recipe, quick and easy too! Works well with basil in place of spinach as well!

  • margit | 06/10/2014

    A wonderful quick recipe with fresh spinach from the garden, a definite keeper!

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