Mozzarella and Pesto Grilled Naan Bread #TwelveLoaves

This sky rocketed to the top of my filled-starch recipe list., with capital a and a lot of emphasis when pronouncing it. It took a few weeks to get here, but I think I found a recipe worth waiting for. The Twelve Loaves group deserved the best possible idea for a savory bread, this month’s theme, especially if I was posting so late. 
Well, here it is, all cheesy and so good, naan bread made without yeast, filled with green onion almond pesto and grilled. You’re welcome.

I’m seriously considering feeding this as a sort of appetizer for 40 next month at my father´s birthday, that’s how infatuated I’m with this mozzarella filled naan. It doesn’t even have yeast, so for all of you who are afraid of it, this dough is as easy as the pizza mix with baking powder that you can buy in the supermarket. But so much better. It has yogurt in it. 

Talking about pizza I have two chores ahead of me: to see if this dough holds well for grilled pizza, and finding my ultimate pizza dough recipe with yeast - I still can’t be totally happy with any of the dozens I’ve tried through the years. I’m very much a focaccia gal more than pizza, but as any self proclaimed foodie and yeast enthusiast, a great pizza dough should be part of my repertoire.

On to the pesto filled naan here, oozing melted mozzarella. The word pesto is very loosely used here, this was a mixture of green onions, almonds and parsley with olive oil, salt and pepper. Maybe we should say paste? Maybe, but pesto or paste will not change the awesomeness of this filled pieces of dough, grilled on the stove and eaten right there, almost hot to the touch, the idea of slightly burning your tongue pleasurable. Unfortunately, these do not reheat well after freezing, probably because they’re not yeasted, so it might not be the best idea to serve it for so many guests at a party, huh? Probably not.

Where you paying attention when I mentioned the grilling inside, on the stove? 
Just a few days ago I talked about how inconvenient it was for trends to come back so many years, or decades really, later when we’ve already thrown or gave away a lot of vintage o inherited stuff like cast iron skillets.
Well, in a very fortunate turn of events, I found a million years old steak iron that belonged to my grandmother. I can’t begin to think how many years old it might be, at least fifty.

Steak irons are flat surfaces with ridges, made of cast iron, used to make steak, obviously.  Being this one a huge meat consuming country, it was a regular staple in all kitchens when I was growing up. All made from good, sturdy iron, meant to last forever, literally. Any decent kitchen had one or more. A big pot for sunday's pasta, a skillet and a cast iron steak iron. Period.

The material is the same used for the first irons, for ironing fabrics that is, which were filled with hot coals. That was before electricity was available everywhere. 
The old clothes iron was quickly replaced, but the steak iron remained. Many electric gadgets appeared through the years, but it took many years for the faithfull steak iron to be replaced. Nowadays it’s still sold and used, but not as much.

So the grilling of the filled naan was very easy, not even smoke because you don’t need to use oil. You can drizzle some right before eating the bread, and maybe sprinkle with some coarse salt. What’s unavoidable is to use a good melting cheese, like the mozzarella I used here, which is the type we label pizza mozzarella, not fancy but buttery in flavor and great for melting.

Make your own fillings, most Mediterranean pizza toppings will go well, or something like this chorizo tomato filling, or the sun dried tomato pesto. The original recipe, from a wonderful new-to-me blog, uses garlic scapes, something I can't yet find here. 

Grilled veggies are perfect too. Just remember you need the final filled bread to be flat, so that it cooks evenly. It might be a good idea to process or cut in small bits the vegetables first.
Whatever you fill this with, enjoy it warm.

adapted from Feasting at Home

Makes 8 to 10 individual breads


For the pesto:
1 cup coarsely chopped green onions, about 2
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
½ cup whole almonds
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
9 or 10 slices mozzarella cheese


Make naan dough as directed, let rest for 1 hour. In the meantime, have the cheese cut and make the pesto.

For the pesto:
In the bowl of a food processor, add green onions, parsley, almonds and 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil. Process until it begins to turn into a paste, adding more oil as necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

When ready to assemble, preheat the steak iron, grill or a cast iron skillet.
Fill each piece of dough with a heaping tablespoon of pesto and a slice of cheese to cover it. Close in a bundle, flatten with a rolling pin or your hands like I did, and cook as many at a time as will fit in the iron. 
Do it over low/medium heat so the dough has time to bake properly before the outside is burned.
Transfer to a wooden board, cut in half and eat immediately.

Here's what the rest of the group baked this month:

#TwelveLoaves August: Savory. 
After a gorgeous month of July stone fruit breads, our August baking mission is taking on a savory side. 
Think breads with cheeses and spices. Garlic and onion, oh my! 
What savory mood are you in? Share your favorite savory bread recipe (yeast or quick bread). Let's get baking!

Want to join the #TwelveLoaves group? It's easy!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this August, 2013, and posted on your blog by August 31, 2013.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes and Renee from Magnolia Days.


  1. This looks awesome! And not even that difficult! :) I need to get myself a griddle pan!

  2. How can anyone resist that melting cheese oozing out of the bread? This looks amazing and so delicious!

  3. The melty cheese oozing out of these little bread pockets is fantastic! Great pictures, Paula!

  4. Best filled naan I have ever seen, Paula. The oozing out cheese is just irresistible.

  5. I would have definitely hired you at the time when we had the tandoor chicken and nan take away here!! It's all oooozing out, such a beautiful creation Paula. People would love enjoying this street food.

  6. What a sandwich filled with awesomeness! That is MY kind of pesto - no ajo! :) I never realized that naan was so easy to make. I just made bread this morning, so it might have to wait a week. Maybe I will make Indian food for my birthday and some nice homemade naan! Gorgeous photos! I can taste everything from here. ~ David

  7. Oh my Paula! Now I'm wanting to try making naan bread for the first time and your stuffed version is simply heavenly!! Plus you have added yet another kitchen gadget/tool/pan to my to-get list. Off to hunt down an iron steak griddle...

  8. What a great idea to make these sandwiches with naan!

  9. I have a LeCreuset grill pan that I think would achieve the lovely marks this bread demands. These are so lovely and oozy with all that cheese, Paula. I am drooling over here. Can't wait to try it!

  10. The melting mozzarella has captured my heart! What a magnificent naan filled with lush goodness! I agree this would be perfect for a party...even a party of two!

  11. Love the grill marks on your naan! This is a wonderful looking recipe - I gotta try it. Really good stuff - thanks.

  12. Naan has never looked better, this idea was genius my friend :)
    All that cheesy goodness is calling my name!

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Oh Paula, that looks absolutely amazing! Homemade naan and pesto? It must taste out of this world! Delicious and pinning! Have a great week. :)

  14. Pesto or paste, grilled or sizzled in the skillet, your family and father's friends are going to be happy =) This is definitely going on my shared (Pinterest) board of I'd Like A Bit of That!

  15. Paula...this looks INCREDIBLE. Combining two of my favorite things into one delicious meal/snack! Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!

  16. There is nothing I love better than cheeze oozing out of bread. This looks worth of dying for and I love the recipe. Can't wait to give it a try!

  17. You had me at the very first photo, I am hungry just looking at it. I will be trying this recipe for sure!

  18. These are definitely worth the wait Paula! Is there anything better than cheesy, crispy, pesto infused bread pockets?! I think not. I've never made my own naan but now I seriously want to. Definitely with the cheese (so impressed!) xx

  19. These sound amazing, you've made me hungry!

  20. That looks seriously delicious - all my favourite flavours rolled into one bite!

  21. Oh Paula! I am SO trying this!! And, yay, another pesto to try (green onion almond pesto - yum!!)

  22. Paula, this post is perfection! Your photos are incredible - I love how they tell a story (a delicious, mesmerizing story). I've always wanted to make naan at home, but I don't have anything to grill it on. Time to buy myself a steak iron like yours. That melting cheese with the green onion pesto is calling my name! I can just imagine the satisfying crunch of biting into the sandwich, followed by the creaminess of the stuffing. Love this!

  23. Oh my - what a brilliant post! I think you really achieved perfection here.

  24. Oh my, this is just mouthwatering !
    It looks breathtaking

  25. An Italian take on naan...I love it! I've always thought naan can be so many things, though I just eat it straight up because I love it too much!
    These look delicious and an excellent Twelve Loaves entry.


  26. Why have I never thought to use naan as bread fir a sammy. You. So. Smart!

  27. Pesto filling and that gooey oozing cheese is making it look so so so tempting and! Brilliant post.

  28. Oh, that is simply my kind of meal.. Oozing, crispy bread and savory pesto, pretty much perfection. I too love to use old (vintage) tools in the kitchen. It's a lovely feeling..

  29. Love love love this! I was waiting for you to publish this. Envious of the cool old steak grill, but I know a skillet will be great. And I love your naan! I have never made them but have been dying to! Fabulous! Fabulous all of it!!

  30. Wow, these look amazing. Giving them a try as soon as I am able. I love naan, pesto and melty cheese. This is perfect.

  31. I made naan once and am not sure why I haven't made it more often?:)Your sandwich is tantalizing at any hour of the day...I'm thinking even breakfast tomorrow. Fantastic, Paula!

  32. I love how versatile naan is...These panini (or naanini) are to die for, Paula!

  33. oh my gawd, Paula. . this looks amazing! I definitely want to try this when I am in a working kitchen again! love that you used your grandmother's old steak iron . . that is fabulous. I love finding old things. . you definitely need to make these for your father's birthday party! Are you making food for the entire menu?

  34. I love pesto. I eat it in everything and on everything. Your sandwich looks amazing! Can't wait to try it out.


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Maira Gall