1 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed, washed and spun dry
1/4 cup mint leaves
2 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 serrano chili, stem and seeds removed, and roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper ﬂakes
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp sliced blanched almonds
1/4 cup evoo
2 tbsp cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup zucchini, julienned
1/2 cup red bell pepper, stems and seeds removed, and julienned
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 loaf of ciabatta, sliced in half horizontally (the best way to do it is lay the bread on the counter and place your hand on top of the loaf, and slice parallel to the counter)
fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced or grated
Combine basil, mint, garlic, chilis, red pepper ﬂakes, fennel seeds and almonds in a mini food processor and pulse. Add the evoo and pulse to create a thick creamy paste. Add cheese and pulse to mix well. Season to taste with salt and additional cheese. If you aren't going to use the pesto right away, cover with a thin layer of evoo in a tupperware and seal. It should last at least a few days in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a medium saute pan over moderate heat. Add 1 tbsp evoo. Add onion, zucchini and bell pepper. Saute, stirring regularly, until veggies are beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Season with s&p. Add cherry tomatoes. Saute, stirring, until tomatoes begin to soften, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Place the bottom half of the ciabatta on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread liberally with pesto and top with mozzarella. Season lightly with s&p. Roast in the oven until the cheese melts and bread begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, stop with sauteed veggies, and roast another 2-3 minutes.