I don’t know about you, but we went from “why aren’t the tomatoes ripening?” to “what are we going to do with all these ripe tomatoes?!” pretty much overnight. We basically feel like we need to cook a tomato recipe every day just to keep up. Tonight’s dinner? Weeknight Caprese Sandwiches. I call them “weeknight” sandwiches because they are quick and easy – perfect for throwing together after work.
Here’s everything you need to make these fresh, delicious sandwiches:
I start with a loaf of ciabatta bread from the local grocery store bakery. We prefer their roasted garlic ciabatta bread, because the flavor is out of this world. If you can’t get roasted garlic ciabatta bread at your local store, I highly recommend roasting some garlic and putting it on your sandwich before baking. Find out how here.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Slice the ciabatta bread lengthwise and spread some butter on both sides. I do this for 2 reasons: to keep the middle of the bread soft and to add flavor. If the bread gets too crispy, it can be rather unenjoyable. Bake in the oven for about 5-7 minutes to warm the bread and melt the butter.
While the bread is in the oven, cut a pound of fresh mozzarella cheese into 1/4″ slices. When you pull the bread out of the oven, lay the cheese on the bottom half, as shown.
Put the bottom half of the bread with the cheese in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melty.
While the cheese is melting, thinly slice your tomatoes. We had a massive, beautiful heirloom tomato in our garden, so we only needed to use one for this recipe. If you have smaller tomatoes, you’ll probably need 2 or 3. Also, we like to use heirloom tomatoes, since there are a lot less seeds. You’ll get more “meat” and less “guts” than if you use other varieties. Cut the tomatoes into 2-3″ pieces.
When the cheese is nice and melted, pull the bread out of the oven and layer the tomatoes on top.
You can choose to put the bread back in the oven to heat up and soften the tomatoes. We prefer the tomatoes raw, so we don’t bake them.
Chop up some fresh basil from your garden and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes. Top with sea salt, black pepper, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a drizzle of nice, thick balsamic vinegar. We love the 18 year balsamic vinegar from Olive Oil Etcetera. You can purchase it here.
Add the top of the bread and cut the sandwich in half. You can then slice each side in half or in thirds, depending on how many portions you need. It’s that easy!