Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Deb (Kahaki Kitchen), Natasha (Living in the Kitchen with Puppies), and Megan (My Baking Adventures) have given us one more reason to love Fridays. That's the day they post a round up at Tyler Florence Fridays, a blog for devotees of Tyler Florence, to showcase which of his dishes they've been cooking. I usually spend Saturday through Thursday mulling over what I want to contribute to this weekly celebration. For some reason, my thoughts this week kept coming back to the use of herbs in my cooking. I have to admit that some of my thoughts began to take on a bit of a psychological bent.
If you were an herb, which herb would you be? Were you voted "Most Popular" in high school? Maybe you'd be basil. Are you a well-rounded person? Perhaps parsley best represents your personality. Are you a bit shy or mellow, someone others think of as laid back? Chives might be the herb you relate to best. As for me, I'm all about pizzazz. My fiery Italian temper immediately calls to mind rocket, best known as arugula. Yes, I'd have to say arugula is the herb that I would be. With that in mind, I decided to treat myself to a special little pre-birthday lunch. Flipping through the pages of my copy of Stirring the Pot, I jumped on Tyler's Grilled Brie and Tomato on Crusty Bread. I had bought a lovely baguette and some rocket at a local farmers' market and had a piece of brie just waiting in the wings. I've made pesto with any number of herbs, so an arugula pesto sounded like a terrific variation.

My special lunch went together very quickly and I have a good-sized jar of pesto leftover to enjoy, perhaps in a pasta or maybe a chicken entree.

Arugula Pesto
4 cups arugula
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 baguette, thick bias-cut slices (I sliced in half and used half for one portion)
extra virgin olive oil
ripe tomato, sliced
1/2 lb brie, sliced thin

For the arugula pesto:
In a food processor combine the arugula, basil, garlic, and pine nuts and process until the mixture becomes a smooth puree. With the motor running, slowly pour the 1/2 cup of oil through the feed tube until you get a spreadable consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to medium OR, do as I did and use the broiler. Drizzle the bread slices with oil and grill about 1 minute per side. Remove bread from the grill and spread each slice with some of the pesto. Add a layer of sliced tomato and some brie. Grill until the cheese melts and the bread is nicely toasted.
Turning 60 is a huge milestone. Being able to enjoy a glass of Corvo and a lovely, toasty adult version of grilled cheese is one of the upsides of getting older.


  1. Very nice! I'm always looking for a new twist to put into pesto (one of my favorite summer foods!) I'll have to give this one a try!

  2. I made it in. Yay! I thought I'd never get to talk to you again. I was so worried. But never fear...I am here. HaHa.
    You Tyler groupie. You really know how to grab my attention. This cheese and tomato topped crusty bread is right up my alley. Birthday??? I'm turning 60 this year as well. I've already told everyone that I'm letting my hair go white (which it has been since I was in my the genes). No more haircolor. I'm excited. At our age, there are so many possibilities. Happy birthday love. Wish I could give you a big hug.

  3. Arugula pesto - what a great idea.

    And brie? Well, count me in!

  4. Happy Birthday! ;-)

    Looks delicious. I like the addition of the arugula pesto which wasn't on the online recipe I made--I think it would add a nice dimension to the tomato and cheese.

  5. Looks delicious And Happy To you you know all of us are the best turned 60 this year.. hahahahaha

  6. Thanks for posting a comment on my giveaway already. I loved reading about your cheese toasting. I have a feeling some of the stories will be funny. Congrats on the birthday!! I like that you said you were like some fiery arugula. I might be like the chives, shy and laid back. I love this dish and have it on my to do list.

  7. Happy Birthday Arlene! Your dish looks & sounds wonderful! Love "grown up" foods!

  8. Happy Birthday!
    I love your b-day lunch, my favourite kind of meal.
    As for which herb I am, I chose thyme. I am not sure why though, just seemed right.

  9. Happy Birthday.
    Lovely use of local and fresh here. Can't say I've ever tried to figure out what herb I am, though. :-)

  10. I have a serious brie addiction so I know this would be something that I love! If I were an herb, I think I'd be cilantro - you either love me or hate me.

  11. This dish looks to have full of flavors! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  12. I'm having friends over for lunch Thurs. & had just decided to serve arugula pesto pizza, on those little ready-made rounds you just have to bake. Then I came across your post. Brie sounds like the perfect addition.

  13. Well, I love a good crusty bread. I love brie. And, I love tomatoes. I'm pretty sure this is a winner. Thanks!

  14. Happy Happy Birthday to you. These look incredible. Perfect Choice!

  15. I just came from the farmers market with a big bunch of arugla..pesto..what a great idea!!Much thanks!Figtreeapps

  16. Happy birthday! Brie and arugula toast sounds just yummy!


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