Some 20 years ago, Craig Colvin and Kathleen Lenane opened their small family-owned farm, which they called Bear Pond Farm, in Connecticut. In the early days of Bear Pond, they focused on organically grown vegetables that were distributed in Connecticut and the New York City Green Market. Today, they have expanded to making and selling pesto nationwide.

Kat and Craig were overjoyed with the response to their pestos, which in turn inspired them to give back to communities across the U.S., working with food banks in Boston, New York, Ohio, California, and more.

“Growing and cooking your own food in healthy ways is an empowering act,” Kat and Craig explained. “We believe that food banks, community and urban farms, grocery co-ops, community kitchens and neighborhood and natural markets are a force for good and can help heal the isolation and social divides of our post-industrial world.”

With the six pestos, two of which are vegan, organic, and non-GMO, made by Bear Pond Farm, the food-pairing possibilities are endless. Try this crave-worthy sandwich for an easy summer meal!

Photo by © StockFood / van Tonder, Hein

Barbecue Caprese Sandwiches with Pesto

Serves 4 | Prep time: 5 min | Cooking time: 15 min

Ingredients:
  • 4 large focaccia rolls, or other Italian-style bread rolls
  • 1 (6.3 oz) container Bear Pond Farm Three Greens Pesto, plus extra to serve, optional
  • 1 (15 oz) jar roasted red peppers in oil or brine, drained and sliced
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella, drained and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, to garnish, optional
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to a moderately hot temperature, about 350°F; if using charcoal, wait until the coals turn white-hot.
  2. Split the rolls in half horizontally; spread both halves of the rolls with pesto. Top the bottom halves of the rolls with roasted red peppers and mozzarella slices; season with a little salt and pepper. Cover with the top halves of the rolls to complete the sandwiches.
  3. When the grill is ready, brush the sandwiches all over with olive oil. Brush the grates with a little olive oil and then place the sandwiches on the grill; cover and cook until golden brown and toasted, flipping once halfway through, 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the rolls.
  4. Remove from the grill and let cool briefly. Cut in half and serve warm with a garnish of basil leaves and more pesto, if desired.
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