Caprese Panini

It may be a bit late in the season for this post, but you can run out and get your tomatoes now and make this panini tonight. Or tomorrow. A caprese panini. Simple, fast, perfect for summer and only requires a few main ingredients. We had it for dinner last night and I decided, “more people should eat caprese paninis. Let’s feature it on the blog.”

So here it is.

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Loaf of bread (the good crusty kind, multi-grain to keep it healthy)
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves
Tomatoes (highly recommend heirloom if you can get ’em)
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

Step 1: get your griddler/panini maker hot (or cast iron skillet if you don’t have one)

Step 2: slice your bread about ye thick:

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Step 3: drizzle some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a small bowl or ramekin with salt and pepper:

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Step 4: baste that olivey goodness on your bread for extra flavor and crunch on your sandwich (just one side of each slice):

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Step 5: place bread, olivey side down, on the panini maker and start building your sandwich in layers:

Yummy slices of heirloom tomato

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Diced tomato of a different color/variety if you want and DON’T FORGET to sprinkle some salt and pepper on top of those bad boys

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Step 6: if you haven’t already prepped this, go ahead and chiffonade that fresh basil, for that will be the next layer (if you can’t chiffonade, a good rough chop is fine)

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Step 7: drizzle some EVOO and balsamic vinegar on top of that (DO NOT USE TOO MUCH BALSAMIC,  1/2 tspn. will do). Balsamic vinegar is the perfect complement to tomatoes. But too much will overpower your dish, so restrain yourself and only use a couple drops:

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Finally, top it with fresh mozzarella:

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Step 8: place 2nd slice of bread on top, and close your panini maker (you can tell we use it a lot because it’s nice and dirty….):

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……not long. Watch for melty cheese.

And then…..

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You have a yummy, gooey, healthy sandwich that doesn’t make you feel like crap after eating it. You’ll feel good about yourself, your food choices and your cooking skills. Because this is simple,  yet so fancy at the same time.

Give it a try while you can still get delicious tomatoes!