I think it’s only appropriate to kick off my new blog with a post about my latest food obsession: Caprese salad. But I have taken the tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinaigrette combo to the next level. Caprese Grilled Cheese. A little backstory here: my mother has a garden in which she grows basil. Last week, she sent a bag full of basil home with me. I then purchased Roma tomatoes, whole milk mozzarella, and a fancy balsamic vinaigrette. I first made the traditional salad; it was tasty, as I expected it would be. After some brief brainstorming, the idea for the grilled cheese was formed. Am I saying I invented this sandwich? No. Am I incredibly proud of the deliciousness that ensued? Yes. To build the sandwich, I used some thick-cut Italian bread I happened to have on hand, slathered in plenty of butter. Then layered on the cheese slices, tomato (with a little salt), and a few basil leaves. I placed the sandwich into my skillet (not cold, I pre-heated the skillet so it sizzled when the buttery bread touched it), and grilled it to a golden brown on both sides. Any grilled cheese expert will tell you that the best way to achieve crispy perfection is to cook on a medium heat. Low heat, even. My mozzarella, being thickly sliced, was not completely melted when my bread was perfectly grilled. So I turned the heat on my burner down as low as possible and covered my skillet with a lid. The cheese took just a few minutes to reach the perfect gooiness. At this point, I plated and tasted my sandwich. I knew immediately that this was the best grilled cheese I had ever created or tasted. I dipped it in a little bit of my fancy balsamic, but it was also good without.
The options for Caprese are pretty much endless. I encourage you to try it if you haven’t already, and get creative. If you’re into appetizers, you could make Caprese kabobs with those little mozzarella balls and grape tomatoes. I have even included an annoying Instagram photo of my grilled cheese for your enjoyment. Happy Eating!