I decided I needed to do something new and fresh for lunch today, and so the idea was born for a caprise sandwich. This was so delish, that nothing is left but crumbs and a few traces of vinegar. I knew I should have taken a picture because it looked so lovely, but I didn't, and now that I know it was good enough to share I'm bummed I didn't grab my camera. You'll just have to take my word for it. For any of you interested in making this, here is what I did:
First, I baked up a loaf of focaccia bread. I used the recipe I posted a couple days ago, but I added more herbs, a little more salt, powdered milk, and then salted the top of the bread with coarse sea salt. I also baked it on a smaller pan so the bread would be thicker. While the dough was still rising, I sliced up the tomatoes and laid them on a paper towel in the fridge to draw out the extra moisture so they wouldn't make the bread soggy once assembled. After the bread was popped into the oven, I sliced up mozzarella cheese and choped up some fresh basil. (Jeremy brought home a bouquet of fresh basil last night......... that stuff is like catnip! Just from walking past it I feel like I should be cooking up an Italian feast. Genna loves it too, which just makes it all the more fun) You could just use whole basil leaves, but as much as I love basil, I prefer to chop it up rather than bite into a whole leaf. Once the bread was done (I baked it for 13 1/2 minutes), I gently slid the whole loaf off the pan onto a cutting board and sliced the entire thing in half. I left the two sides open on the counter for about 5 minutes to let it steam off, then layered on the tomatoes, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (some of my kids love vinegar and some do not, so I kept it light. Jeremy, Bella, Nahshon and I all added extra balsamic to our plates!) Next came the cheese, fresh basil, and a bit more olive oil drizzled on the inside of the top slice of bread. You could also add a bit of black pepper, but my kids are not pepper fans so I left it off. I served the sandwich whole on a cutting board, so they could all marvel at it's awesomeness before we sliced it up. They devoured it! The one sandwich with nothing on the side was plenty to feed my entire family and leave them satisfied.
If you love caprise and Italian flavors (which many of you know I do!), try this sandwich on a lovely sunny day. You'll be glad you did!