The other day Victor was flipping through channels and found Rachael Ray making an open-faced sandwich of sorts with pesto, roasted peppers, and fried eggs on top.  We didn’t really catch the whole thing, but the gist of it was toasted inch-thick Italian bread spread with pesto, red peppers, and whatever else.  Intriguing, to say the least.

I have to admit that a lot of Rachael Ray’s recipes do not have me running into the kitchen saying I have to try this.  She’s a very good cook and I enjoy her shows, but a lot of things just don’t seem like recipes to me.  I’m not really her target audience.  And if it hadn’t been for the combination of pesto and fried eggs, I may have passed this one over, as well.  But it really did intrigue me.  I definitely wanted to try this one!

I searched all over for the recipe – but couldn’t find it, so I decided that I had the basics, I’d just create something.  I think she even said something about topping it with different things, using it as a hangover cure… In typical Tim-fashion, I was staring at the plate trying to deconstruct it more than I was listening.

And what a yumlicious something, it was!  A definite surprise hit.

I grilled inch-thick slices of Italian bread and spread them with homemade pesto. (We just happened to have some in the freezer from our bountiful summer crop of basil!) Atop the pesto went roasted red peppers.  On top of the peppers went slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.

That went under the broiler for the cheese to melt.  Meanwhile, I fried the eggs.

I topped the mozzarella with crispy-fried cubed pancetta and slid the eggs atop.  A few extra pieces of pancetta went atop the eggs.

And some fried hashbrowns on the side.

This was definitely a keeper.  The pesto was just perfect with everything.  It came through with every bite, but wasn’t overpowering.  It was definitely the “unexpected” flavor in the dish – and it would not have been nearly as good without it.

There are just a million different things one could do with this.  Sauteed spinach or arugula would be great.  Paper-thin slices of ham or prosciutto…  any number of cheeses… But the pesto will always take center-stage.

It rocked!

Thanks for a great idea, Rachael!