Sometimes we all want a good sandwich. Now, what that means can vary from person to person, but this time of the year when my garden is still producing tomatoes but not as many as a month or two ago, that means a grilled cheese bursting with the flavors of Caprese Salad - a blend of vine ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil plucked straight from the garden. It's bliss on a plate.
Now, in cooler months, I'd make this sandwich using roasted tomatoes and pesto instead of the fresh from the garden ingredients because I don't have access to them. But while I've still got them, fresh wins. To keep from ending up with a soggy sandwich, I let the slices of tomatoes rest briefly between sheets of thick paper towels to make sure my tomato slices aren't dripping, but are still juicy enough to have your sandwich bringing all that flavor to your plate. I highly recommend using both mozzarella and parmesan (though asiago also works) to keep the blend of cheeses perfect in texture and flavor throughout. Spicy jam is not required, but is an absolute delight in this grilled cheese sandwich. If you have it, I highly recommend including it.
I love serving these sandwiches alongside fantastic seasonal soups and salads. A roasted garlic and tomato soup? Yes, please! A beautiful tomato and pepper spinach salad? Absolutely! You get the idea. While you can, enjoy eating fresh!
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons hatch chili jam, optional
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
Slice the tomatoes and place between layers of thick paper toweling to absorb extra moisture. Set aside.
Shred the cheeses and chop the basil leaves; set aside.
On the inside of half of each of the slices of bread, spread the hatch chili jam, if using. Evenly layer the cheeses, the tomatoes, and the chopped basil. Add the top piece of bread and butter the outside of the sandwiches.
Place the sandwiches in a skillet or on a panini press and cook until golden on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side - or 6-8 minutes total on the panini press. Remove from the heat, slice, and enjoy while warm.
- Yields: 3 servings
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes