What would summer be without a good tomato sandwich? A couple slices of your favorite toasted bread slathered with some mayo. Then, the star is added… thick sliced vine ripened tomatoes right out of the garden. Perfect tomato goodness! Are you with me? A pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper and you’ve got a one of life’s simple pleasures. With the amazing beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes I’ve been finding at my farmer’s market, I’m ready to make the most perfect tomato sandwiches. I love these sandwiches so much especially since they take me right back to my childhood, when my dad used to make them for us. Yum!
So for today, I’ve been thinking… what if I made a version of this classic summertime sandwich where I take my fresh made pesto and slather some onto the bread instead of mayonnaise. You know, to create a “Caprese” like sandwich. Two of my favorite summer things… tomatoes and pesto together. Ok, I’m getting hungry now. And I’ll add some fresh mozzarella slices to make it my Caprese sandwich. Oh my, this is one incredible sandwich!
Oh my, this is one incredible sandwich!
Stranded Foodie Caprese Sandwich Recipe
- 8 slices whole grain bread (or bread of your choice)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella
- 1 recipe Stranded Foodie Pesto (see below)
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Coarse salt (to taste)
Perfect Pesto Recipe from Stranded Foodie
Makes around 1 cup
- 5-6 ounces (2 healthy bunches or about 6 cups gently packed) basil leaves, or any other green (I fill my food processor bowl almost to the top)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, or you can use walnuts
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1-2 large garlic cloves (add more if you really like garlic)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste (I add a couple of grinds)
- 1/4-1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Equipment: Food processor or blender (if using blender, make in two batches if necessary)
Directions: Place the basil with nuts, cheese, garlic, and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend continuously until the ingredients are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.
Stream in the Olive Oil: With the blender running, stream in the olive oil. Less olive oil will make a paste good for spreading on sandwiches and pizzas; more will make a sauce better for pastas and stirring into soup. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue blending as needed until the olive oil is emulsified into the basil and the pesto looks uniform. I prefer a little texture in my pesto.
Taste and Adjust: Taste the pesto and add more garlic, salt, pepper, or cheese to taste if needed.
Storing Pesto: Pesto will darken and brown very quickly, but will still be tasty and fresh for several days. For best appearance, use it right away. If storing, store it in the smallest container possible and thoroughly press the pesto to eliminate air pockets. Pour a little olive oil over the surface, cover, and refrigerate for up to a week. Pesto can also be frozen for several months.
Spread it on sandwiches, toss it with pasta, or yes, treat yourself a single happy spoonful, but definitely absolutely positively make pesto any chance you get.
Directions to assemble sandwiches: Toast bread slices. Spread each slice with pesto. Slice the heirloom tomatoes and the mozzarella into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Layer the tomatoes and mozzarella on the bread, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper and sandwich the slices of bread together. Cut the sandwich in half and serve immediately.
Note: You may have a little of the pesto left over that you can serve with pasta the next day.