Caprese Salad Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Day three of recipes that incorporate basil! It may be safe to proclaim this as “Basil Week”. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a big bundle! But for this recipe the pre-made fresh basil pesto was used, so no extra basil was used.

Recently I have noticed several Caprese salad recipes popping up in my Google reader. I thought to make one myself with the influx of basil but after asking my followers what they thought I should make, two suggested a sandwich and that stuck with me. How about a Caprese salad all melty and sandwiched between two wonderful pieces of multigrain bread? Mmmm what a comforting first bite.

Please, please, please use fresh Mozzarella for this sandwich. Not only is it softer and melts easier, but it’s soo much better!

Ingredients:

4 slices thick-cut multigrain bread

1/2 cup fresh pesto

2 plum tomatoes, cut into thick slices

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 ball (1/2 pound) fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

Directions:

  1. If you have a panini press, turn it on to warm up; otherwise, set a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Assemble sandwich by smearing insides of bread slices with pesto. Arrange a layer of sliced tomato and season with a few turns of fresh pepper. Layer the mozzarella slices over the top and then drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar. Place another piece of bread on top to make the sandwich.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over skillet’s surface and place sandwiches on the hot skillet or panini press. If using a skillet, place another heavy skillet over the top to form a “press”. Turn after 2 to 3 minutes and replace weight. The sandwich is ready when golden brown and mozzarella has melted around the edges.

Source: Adapted slightly from Tyler Florence on Food Network

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