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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- To make the sandwiches: Use the butter to grease a skillet.
- 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.
- 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.