This summery Grilled Cheese Caprese recipe is perfect for when juicy local tomatoes are in the market. Quick and tasty, this sandwich takes the classic Caprese salad ingredients — fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil — to make a simplified, dare I say Americanized version of the Italian favorite ‘Mozzarella in Carrozza’, only with less work and no frying. Serve with a simple arugula salad, and you’ll have an outstanding summer lunch in a jiffy. Buon appetito!
1. Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet over a medium high flame.
2. Lay the slices of bread on a board. Brush them on one side with half the olive oil. Transfer the bread, oiled sides down, onto the hot griddle. Lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to the board browned sides up.
3. Take ½ the mozzarella and evenly cover the toasted sides of 2 slices of the bread. Put half the sliced tomato on top of each and sprinkle with the torn basil leaves. Take the remaining cheese and lay over the tomato. Take the remaining slices of bread and lay them over the filling, toasted sides down and gently press together.
4. Take half the remaining olive oil and brush the top of each sandwich with it. Carefully turn the assembled sandwiches over and transfer them to the griddle, oiled sides down. Cook, gently pressing down on the sandwich as the cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes. Brush the tops of the sandwiches, about 3-5 minutes more, again gently pressing down on the sandwiches as they cook.
5. When both sides are golden and the cheese has melted, they’re ready. Serve piping hot. If using the arugula, toss with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and serve on the side.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
For the best results, use freshly made balled mozzarella cheese. Don’t buy either the grated or sliced processed mozzarella if you can help it. Many supermarkets now make their own mozzarella. If they don’t, Bel Gioioso is a good standby.
If you are on a neutropenic diet, you may want to quickly sear or sautée the tomato first.
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