Friday, May 8, 2009

Caprese Sandwich with Bacon

Inspired by the Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad), which is one of my favorite spring and summer salads, I used the same ingredients to make this sandwich. Then I topped it with bacon, (because everything is better with bacon). These sandwiches were super easy to assemble—just a matter of cooking the bacon, cutting the tomato and mozzarella slices, chiffonading the basil leaves, and building the sandwich layers. The result is a colorful, fresh, light sandwich with contrasting flavors from the salty bacon and the sweet tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

For a vegetarian version of this sandwiches, simply omit the bacon.

4 slices bacon
2 fresh club or hoagie rolls
1 large or 2 small Roma or plum tomatoes
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
6 fresh basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar

Add bacon to a cold frying pan, placing the strips side by side. (Do not heat the pan first, as that will cause the bacon to shrink and curl more.) Cook over medium-low heat. (Cooking the bacon over low heat will render the most amount of fat out of the bacon.) Turn over the bacon once in a while, to cook it evenly. When the bacon reaches a deep brown color, it is done. Remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the fat.

Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into ¼-inch slices. To cut the basil in a
chiffonade, stack the leaves, roll tightly, and cut across the roll to produce ribbons.

Spread a thin layer of pesto on the bread. Place the cheese slices on the bottom piece of the sandwich bread. Layer the tomatoes next. Evenly sprinkle the basil chiffonade on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar next. Then top with 2 of the bacon slices on each sandwich and serve.

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