From Too Many Chefs -

September 24, 2008
Heirloom Tomato Caprese Sandwich

Huh, guess I should have taken a picture before I started eating this sandwich. Oh well.
There is nothing I like better than a good caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. I make it all summer long, or whenever I can get good quality tomatoes. I've made it straight up when we visited friends in Chicago a couple weeks ago (as seen here) with some farmer's market heirlooms and tomatoes straight from our friends' garden.

This last week, at the mini-farmer's market outside my office (at Tide Point - Hull Street at Key Highway, 4-7pm, Thursday afternoons), I bought some basil, some very fresh mozzarella (the vendor claimed it had been made just three hours prior to my purchasing it) and some delicious Irish sandwich bread (not soda bread - the name was something like "Cuane" or "Culane' - I'll write it down next week).

We had heirlooms unused from the Sunday Baltimore Farmer's Market under Interstate 83 at home. It occurred to me that one ought to be able to put together a pretty delicious sandwich with good ingredients like the ones I had. So.. I did.

If you make this sandwich, have napkins ready and expect the oil to migrate through the bread. Also expect to want more of everything when you're done - even if you're stuffed to the gills.

This is a very simple sandwich and it depends entirely on the quality of the ingredients. If you use hothouse tomatoes, low moisture part skim mass-produced mozzarella and Wonder bread, you WILL be disappointed. The olive oil will be swallowed up in the bread's flavor so if you need to skimp somewhere, that's the place.

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Sandwich
heirloom tomatoes - at least two varieties, one sweeter, one more acidic
fresh mozzarella - this would be the type typically packed in water, not the pizza cheese low moisture part skim type you find in the supermarket next to the cheese sticks
basil leaves - about four per sandwich
good sandwich bread - should have a nice chewy crumb
olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes however you can to get nice large slices about 1/4"-1/2" thick. Do the same to the mozarella - you want about one tennis ball sized ball for every two sandwiches. Slice thinner if you want to make the mozzarella go further.

Cut the basil into a chiffonade - roll up the leaves and cut thin strips so you end up with "basil confetti".

Toast two slices of bread and lightly (very lightly) drizzle olive oil on both slices of bread. Add one type of tomato slice, then the mozzarella. Salt and pepper to taste, add the basil chiffonade, then add the second sort of tomato on top, finishing with th elast slice of bread, olive oil side down.

Get a plate, a napkin and dig in.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at September 24, 2008 7:34 AM

This might not have been an option for you but personally I would toast that bread to make sure it absorbs the oil more effectively. Lovely idea otherwise - mmmmm....

Posted by Sussex Meg on September 24, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Actually - I did toast the bread. Maybe I'll add that to the instructions.

Posted by barrett on September 24, 2008 at 10:08 AM

I'm a student, I'm 15,
I don't speak English very well, but, ...
I can say dat It's a very BEAUTIFUL sandwich ! Mmmh !

Posted by Clarisse- 15 ans (P'tite tOque) on September 24, 2008 at 11:18 AM