Grilled Caprese Panini - Weekend at the Cottage

Grilled Caprese Panini

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Remove the caps from the tomatoes before slicing them into ¼-inch pieces. Place the sliced tomatoes onto a dinner plate, drizzle with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt. Place aside for about an hour.
  2. Transfer sliced tomatoes to a side plate and reserve liquid. Slice focaccia in half lengthwise and open onto your work surface. Take reserved liquid from the tomatoes, stir lightly using a pastry brush, then brush onto the bottom half of the bread.
  3. Layer the sliced cheese, followed by the basil, then sliced tomato. Drizzle the top with a bit of oil and a sprinkling of salt. Top with the other half of the bread and cut it into four squares.
  4. Preheat the panini maker to medium-high (350°F) and transfer sandwiches on to hot grill. Close the lid and grill for about 5 minutes, until sandwiches are warmed through and the cheese has melted. Remove from grill and cut into smaller portions if desired. Serve immediately.
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Fresh tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil layered between slices of focaccia grilled panini style…

  • clock icon
    85 MIN
  • 4 SERVINGS
Grilled Caprese Panini

Why go out to the local sandwich counter when you can make that GRILLED CAPRESE PANINI at home!

We published our highly popular GRILLED PANINI SANDWICH last summer and couldn’t be happier with the response. This GRILLED CAPRESE PANINI is a follow-up for all vegetarians out there who asked, “Hey, what about me?” Here you go! XO

This post is similar in that we’re once again using a panini maker, but this time we’re asking that you follow the recipe to the T; we promise something delicious is in the offing.

This GRILLED CAPRESE PANINI recipe is something we know you’ll truly love, and here’s why:

Ingredients for Grilled Caprese Panini

THE INSPIRATION

This recipe comes from one of my all-time favourite salads – the legendary Italian INSALATA CAPRESE. The Caprese salad is an homage to the quality ingredients produced and grown in the Campania region of Italy. A visit to Naples, the breathtakingly beautiful towns along the Amalfi Coast or the idyllic island of Capri (from which this gets its name) wouldn’t be complete without enjoying this famous salad.

A Caprese salad is made by combining juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes with creamy buffalo mozzarella cheese and fragrant fresh basil, then finishing with nothing more than a superior olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.

All of the ingredients layered onto focaccia bread

THE CONCEPT

When you go to make this at home, use perfectly ripened tomatoes at the height of the season. Also track down the essential, fresh-made buffalo mozzarella. Using garden-grown basil will boost the flavour we’re after, as will a good quality olive oil.

I decided to keep things Italian, so to speak, by using a traditional focaccia bread. The flat profile of the bread makes it ideal for grilling in a panini maker.

The large square of focaccia cut into smaller sandwich sizes for grilling

THE PROCESS

I was lucky enough to watch the preparation of a CAPRESE SALAD while on a trip to Italy and noticed one key step that I now know is essential to the salad’s memorable flavour: slicing the tomatoes, sprinkling them with salt, then drizzling them with olive oil.

Grilled Caprese Panini

BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND PESTO

I think it important to address these two “elefante” in the room – although you may see recipes where both balsamic vinegar and/or pesto are used in a Caprese salad, my research shows this to be a modern adaptation. Feel free to add them if you wish, but I encourage you to leave them out.

Looking for something delicious to go with our GRILLED CAPRESE PANINI? We suggest serving it with a side of one of our popular salads. Try it with our CAESAR SALAD, this CHOPPED KALE SALAD or our incredible BEST BROCCOLI SALAD. You’re going to enjoy all of them!

This sandwich should have all of the vegetarians out there jumping for joy. Honestly, what’s not to love about only one vegetable, one herb and one cheese brought together and warmed up in grand style?

Prepare our GRILLED CAPRESE PANINI and enjoy the taste of a favourite salad in sandwich form.

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Grilled Caprese Panini

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Products used in this recipe

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Grilled Caprese Panini

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of focaccia bread, preferably square
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella, about 8 oz.
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt

Directions

  1. Remove the caps from the tomatoes before slicing them into ¼-inch pieces. Place the sliced tomatoes onto a dinner plate, drizzle with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt. Place aside for about an hour.
  2. Transfer sliced tomatoes to a side plate and reserve liquid. Slice focaccia in half lengthwise and open onto your work surface. Take reserved liquid from the tomatoes, stir lightly using a pastry brush, then brush onto the bottom half of the bread.
  3. Layer the sliced cheese, followed by the basil, then sliced tomato. Drizzle the top with a bit of oil and a sprinkling of salt. Top with the other half of the bread and cut it into four squares.
  4. Preheat the panini maker to medium-high (350°F) and transfer sandwiches on to hot grill. Close the lid and grill for about 5 minutes, until sandwiches are warmed through and the cheese has melted. Remove from grill and cut into smaller portions if desired. Serve immediately.

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