Melissa and I have been going through our recipes to see what areas we are lacking in, and sandwiches are definitely one of them. She has been growing tomatoes and basil in her yard, which just beg to become caprese. But instead of just making a salad, we tried to figure out how to turn it into a sandwich. Melted cheese is clearly superior to un-melted cheese, so of course we made a panini!
We spread slices of Italian bread with basil mayonnaise, then layered in fresh mozzarella and balsamic marinated tomato slices (our attempt to get balsamic flavor without adding too much liquid) with fresh basil (you can't have enough basil). Then we placed them on a panini grill and cooked until the cheese was melted and the outside was golden.
The sandwiches were so gooey and yummy - I loved it! But the bottoms did get a little soggy, so next time I will toast the bread on one side before spreading the mayo on the toasted side, then putting the sandwich together and grilling as usual. I think that this will help keep it from getting soggy. I also might put basil mayo on the outside of the sandwich to help brown it up and because it is delicious.
a Well Dined and Smells Like Brownies collaboration
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
about 20 basil leaves, divided
4 slices artisan bread
4 oz mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded
Set the sliced tomatoes in a shallow dish and cover with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Let marinate for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and about 12 of the basil leaves in a small food processor and pulse until basil permeates the mayonnaise (it may be thin).
Spread the basil mayo on one side of each slice of bread (see comments above on toasting first). Layer mozzarella, tomatoes, remaining basil leaves, and more mozzarella on two of the slices, and top with the remaining bread.
Grill or sauté the sandwiches until the bread is golden brown and crisp and the cheese is melted.