This month I’m helping the newest blogger in our Secret Recipe Club group and posting TWO great recipes I found on two different blogs. First up is this wonderful Caprese Panini by Kate at the Kitchen Trial and Error blog. But let me back up for a minute in case you’re unfamiliar with The Secret Recipe Club.
For the uninitiated, The Secret Recipe Club is a group of around 130 food bloggers, separated into four smaller blogging groups, each of which post at different times of the month. Every month, we’re each assigned a blog in our group to look through. We try a few recipes and chose one to post about. But all month, we keep our assignment a secret until ‘reveal day’. It’s been a lot of fun – and I’ve found some great new blogs to follow and new recipes to add to my rotation.
Okay, back to Kate’s wonderful blog. Kate is a married 30-something mom of 2 adorable boys, living outside Rochester NY. She works full-time in environmental design and product stewardship, and in her spare (!) time writes her blog to keep track of her recipes. She got into cooking in a very big way when she and her husband were first married, making pasta and breads from scratch, and started sharing recipes at work. After a lot of urging from her husband she decided to launch her blog in 2010. Please go over and check it out – it’s full of great recipes like Ina’s Maple and Oatmeal Scones and her Black Bean Quesadillas. But first you’ve got to try this Caprese Panini.
Caprese, of course, refers to a caprese salad composed of basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Putting them into a vegetarian sandwich is just genius. So easy and delicious.
Grilled Italian Caprese Panini
- 1 cup loosely packed basil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
- 4 large or 6 medium-sized ripe tomatoes sliced into 1/4" slices
- 4 sandwich rolls
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced or coarsely grated
- salt pepper, olive oil
- To make the pesto, pulse the basil, garlic, Parmesan, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade until smooth. Alternatively, to make this recipe super-simple and fast, use your favorite store bought pesto (although, honestly, nothing's as good as homemade...).
- Heat a grill pan (or Foreman Grill) over medium high heat and brush with 1 Tbsp olive oil Add the tomato slices and grill for a couple minutes on each side, until softened.
- Slice the rolls in half and spread a thick layer of pesto on the top half of each roll and arrange the cheese on the bottom half. Layer the grilled tomatoes on top and finish with the top half of each sandwich roll. Brush the tops and bottoms of each rolls with the final 1 Tbsp olive oil and place back on the grill pan. Press lightly and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully flip with a metal spatula and lightly press again. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.