Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development
Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee
VP – Culinary Operations & Restaurant Development
Wynn Las Vegas and Encore

Mortadella Focaccia with Ricotta Cheese, Pesto and Pistachios

Recipe courtesy of Christopher Lee
Sponsor: La Brea Bakery

Servings: 4


Basil Pesto:

  • ½ c extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ c grapeseed oil
  • 1 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ c pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 qt packed basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper, as needed

Mortadella Focaccia:

  • 1 slab La Brea Bakery® ¼ Sheet Focaccia Bread, frozen
  • 2 c ricotta cheese
  • Black pepper, as needed
  • 1 lb sliced mortadella
  • 6 oz Basil Pesto
  • 1 c pistachios, chopped
  • 2 oz extra-virgin olive oil


Basil Pesto:

  1. Put the olive oil, grapeseed oil, Parmigiano, pine nuts and garlic into a blender and blend until smooth. Place the blender with the purée into the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. After 1 hour, add the basil leaves and blend until a nice pesto forms. If the pesto is too thick, add a little more oil. It needs to be spoonable. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Keep very cold and cover the surface of the pesto with plastic wrap to prevent browning.

Mortadella Focaccia:

  1. Bake the frozen focaccia in a 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes.
  2. Allow it to cool and cut into 6 x 4-in portions. Slice them in half horizontally.
  3. Spread the ricotta cheese on the bottom of each bread half and then grind some pepper on top.
  4. Divide the mortadella between the sandwiches.
  5. Spoon the Basil Pesto over the mortadella.
  6. Garnish the sandwiches with pistachios and oil and put the top halves of the bread on.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley

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