29 January 2014

Baked Caprese Salad

Happy Hump Day my friends!

I apologize for not having a humorous confession for today, aside from my latest craving for bread.  Good news is that I've got a recipe to share with you!  And, it involves bread!!!

I had a pretty amazing lunch today, which reminds me of my mom every time.  Back when she used to live with me, we would watch The Food Network daily, pick one recipe and make that for dinner.  It was a different challenge almost every night.  We had some near-fails, but my mom was always able to doctor it up and save the dinner.

Today, I made Baked Caprese Salad for a quick and easy lunch.  My mom and I tried this recipe about 5 years ago, and we have enjoyed making this ever since.  I want to say that I got the recipe from Giada de Laurentis, so I linked her recipe above.  (Sorry, my memory is failing me!)  My version of this recipe has evolved so you will notice a few things that I do differently.

Ingredients:
Italian loaf of bread, cut into 1" angled slices
Roma tomatoes
Package of basil (though I love picking them from my garden)
Garlic clove, peeled
Package of fresh sliced mozzarella (I'm sure shredded would work too)
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
1.  Place bread slices on baking sheet and toast in oven for 1 minute. 
2.  Take peeled garlic clove and cut off the tip so it is flat.  Gently rub each slice of bread all over with the garlic clove. 
3.  Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each slice of bread
4.  Put back into the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 


Slice the tomatoes thin.  *Take the basil leaves, stacked one on top of the other, roll them up as one and slice thin.  (Optional: mince onions, add to basil)  Mix basil in a bowl with some olive oil (your preferred amount).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (I like to use a garlic and pepper seasoning mix)

*I started off making this by placing a whole basil leaf atop each tomato.


After you pull the bread out of the oven, place a slice of tomato on each.  Pour balsamic vinegar into a shallow dipping bowl.  Plate your slices of bread.  Top with basil/olive oil mixture. 

To eat, dip in balsamic vinegar and enoy! 
 
I could literally eat this every single day.  I am not afraid to confess that I ate more that I probably should have.  Dee-lish!

You can make this for any occasion, fancy or fun.  I've made this for parties and when good friends come by to visit.  It's a hit every time.

Give it a try, tell me what you think.  Don't forget to share!       




  

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