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Pesto Caprese Sandwiches

Pesto Caprese Sandwiches

Siblings don't always agree, but my kids agree wholeheartedly that this is the best sandwich! The classic combination of mozzarella, tomato, and basil is delicious, and the balsamic glaze adds a sweet tang.


Pesto Caprese Sandwiches

Recipe makes 4 sandwhiches. Total time 45 minutes, including cooling time. Active time 45 minutes.



  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (from about 2 bunches)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher slat
  • ½ cup olive oil


  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4 Early Girl tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves



    For the pesto:

    1. Measure basil, pinenuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon and salt into a food processor. Pulse for about one minute, until ingredients look chopped. Add olive oil and blitz until smooth.

    For the sandwich:

    1. To make the glaze: Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and let simmer for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the volume has been reduced by half. Set aside to cool in a heat-proof container.
    2. To make the pesto: Place the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse for about 1 minute, until the ingredients look chopped. Add the olive oil and blitz until smooth.
    3. To make the sandwiches: Use the butter to grease a skillet.
    4. Cut a roll in half horizontally and slather 2 tablespoons of pesto onto each side. Layer mozzarella over the pesto on the bottom half of the roll. Layer tomatoes over the cheese. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of glaze over the cheese. Cover with basil leaves, and close the sandwich with the top of the roll. Repeat with each roll.
    5. Warm the skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the skillet and cover with a lid. The goal is to lightly brown both sides of the sandwich and melt the cheese. This takes about 3 minutes of cooking time on each side. Remove the sandwiches from the skillet, cut in half, and serve warm.

    Recipe first featured on Ranch To Table Season 3 Episode 5: "Picnic on the Ranch" on the Magnolia Network.



    Photographs by BJ Golnick and Brian Skope

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