A couple of years ago when I was at a conference in the city for work, we ordered lunch from one of those “gourmet” deli’s that were everywhere at the time and I had this simply amazing sandwich.
The menu says (and yes, I took the paper menu, and once home, made note of it in my recipe journal):
“A creamy delight!! Cream cheese, blue cheese, and pesto, with roasted tomatoes and your choice of grilled chicken, or grilled zucchini, served on fresh baked focaccia”
It was served ‘New York Style’.. way too big for one person to eat, but perfect to share with 3 other people. The 4 of us enjoyed it so much that we almost fought for the last piece.
A few days later, I started to play with the ingredients. The first try was a bit bland, but after a few more tries over the next few weeks, I finally got what I was looking for.. something at least close to what I had from the NYC deli.
Over the years since, I’ve played around a lot with the basic idea for this spread — everything from using Italian seasoning, to a cilantro based pesto. This is really one of those recipes you start with, and then build upon, until you have 10 more recipes, based just upon this one.
I do like focaccia, but, to be honest, I never make, and when I do, it is still not as good as I can buy it. The markets here all sell amazingly good focaccia, as do the pizza shops, and Italian bakeries. But usually, I go for a tortilla .. my favorite food group ;)
Creamy Bleu Cheese & Pesto Wraps
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
3-4 ounces of bleu cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup of pesto sauce (fresh is great, store bought is almost as good, usually)
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
10-12 basil leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Favorite addition (see below for ideas)
Add the soft cream cheese to a bowl and mix it well until it softens a bit more and is workable. Add in the blue cheese, pesto sauce and mix together. Add the tomato and black olives and mix together until everything is combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the mixture thinly over the tortilla, and add your favorite meat or vegetable (see below for a list of ideas). Add a couple of basil leaves, and roll tightly together. Chill for about 1 hour, or eat now.
Ideas for additions:
- Grilled zucchini
- Grilled portobellos
- Grilled Tomatoes
- Grilled Red Peppers
- Thin sliced roast beef
- Grilled chicken
- Baked ham
There is really no limit as to what you can do with this recipe.
- Use sun-dried tomatoes, instead of fresh
- Use a tapenade instead of pesto
- Make a pesto from cilantro, then use a soft cheese, such as jack, and mix 1/2 cup sour cream into 4 ounces of cream cheese, instead of the 8 ounces.