Here are a few pointers to go along with that fresh bunch of basil you just purchased, or will after reading this post. When shopping for basil, be sure to choose bunches that are bright green with strong stems and perky leaves. For storing, trim bunches at the stem ends and put in a glass of water, if you’ll be using them right away. For longer storage, wrap bunches in damp paper towels and keep in a sealable container or bag for up to 1 week.
Basil’s perfect partner is the tomato. Open-face caprese sandwiches are great for partnering and showing off the colors and flavors of basil and tomato. Currently, there is an array of tomatoes available to choose from. For a change, I choose these vibrant yellow tomatoes.
Lunch is my favorite meal of the day. Today, I made myself these delicious open-face caprese sandwiches, using my indoor grill pan. I need to tell you about the glorious scent of the garlic infused ciabatta rolls that permeated through my kitchen while grilling… the aroma was enthralling. Instantly, my stomach started to roar.
Not only did these sandwiches make for the perfect summer lunch, but a soul soothing lunch as well. While eating, I forgot about everything else and concentrated on the medley of flavors from the fragrant basil, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, tangy balsamic, and grilled garlic bread. Now, don’t you just want to grab one of these sandwiches for yourself?
After eating my comforting lunch, I decided to further sooth my soul by mediating for 10 minutes. Everyone should try and take a few minutes each day to mediate. Anyway, my latest discovery is an iPhone App, called Simply Being. This app times for however long you want to meditate, and will even walk you through your meditation. I felt so revived after this yummy lunch and the meditation #life is good.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
- 3 ripe medium tomatoes, sliced into 16 slices
- 16 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- 16 medium basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine 1-tablespoon oil and the minced garlic. Brush onto the flat side of each bread slice.
- Preheat indoor grill, and lay bread-oiled side down on grill and cook until slightly toasted, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove bread from grill and place on baking sheet, grilled side up. Lay 2 each of the tomatoes slices, then mozzarella on each of the bread slices, overlapping if necessary. Bake in oven until cheese start to melt, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer sandwiches to a platter. Put 2 basil leaves over each sandwich and drizzle with the remaining 1-tablespoon oil and the vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.