Sandwich Nirvana

October 15, 2011

Main Dishes, Uncategorized

There seems to be a “fad” in the foodie blog world over the last month and I was slightly interested.  You know the “Hmm that’s interesting” type thing as I moved on to the next blog on Foodgawker.  Why would one want to take such a great dish like Caprese and make a sandwich out of it.  I mean Basil is a highly volatile tender herb that loses its flavor very quickly once heat is applied so why would one want to subject it to the heat if you did not need too…well now I know why! Today I had some free time before I needed to get ready for work so I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

To me the key ingredient that can make or break a sandwich is the bread used, think about it…soft Wonderbread.  What comes to mind?  For me its two sandwiches from my childhood-PB&J (SMOOTH peanut butter thank you!) and a cheese sandwich made from Kraft slices with Miracle Whip.  So when playing around with this idea I knew the selection of bread was going to be important. I have been looking for a stout flavorful bread to use for this blog entry as I knew I was going to be doing a dry run of this idea so while at Fresh Market yesterday with The Daughter I picked up some fantastic multigrain hearty bread.  This bread perfectly complimented the remaining ingredients perfectly, it added a slight nuttiness that off set the Mozzarella and Basil. I had to laugh at The Husband as he watched me assemble his share of the sandwiches, you see I have Basil growing on my kitchen window seal which he kind of knew I cooked with it but had not really had any dealings with it.  His startled expression as I cut leaves off the plant was so funny! He asked why I was putting leaves on his sandwich…I just shook my head and laughed telling him to wait and see.

With so few items in this sandwich you will be well served to purchase the highest quality ingredients you can afford as very part plays a huge role in the completed flavor profile. I used a whole milk Mozzarella, Basil cut minutes before being assembled, ripe fresh tomato (heirloom if you can still find some!),good Olive oil and high quality Balsamic vinegar.

OK now we need to talk about the Balsamic.  I am very fortunate to live where there is an amazing Olive oil merchant who also carries an 8 year Balsamico vinegar that is to die for.  Oliva Bella of Lexington KY is a gem of a provider for olive oil they are very knowledgeable about their products if you are local please go by and give them some of your business. Anyway when you are choosing a Balsamic vinegar please please don’t go for the grocery store stuff aim a little higher you will not be disappointed. The Balsamico I used in this recipe was almost as thick as Karo syrup it is amazing stuff a very little goes a long way. It hits the tongue with an intense sweetness followed up by a tang that is amazing.

OK on with the Sandwich building!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich~

Whole Milk mozzarella

Fresh Basil


Crusty Bread

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

Softened Butter

Slice the mozzarella about 1/8″ thick and the tomatoes on the thin side.  Spread one side of the bread with a bit of butter and place butter side down in pan and layer mozzarella, tomato, basil.  Drizzle with a bit of balsamic over the stack and sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper. Butter the second slice and lay in the pan then drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.

  Turn on the heat and allow the unstacked slice of bread to warm then flip onto the stacked slice.  Allow to brown then flip browning on the second side.

Oh man look at that gooey cheesy goodness

Now go play with your food.



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