Open Faced Caprese Sandwiches

by Jenn on June 29, 2009

in Snacks,Vegetarian

Warning – this post is not gluten free!

The caprese combination is one of my favorite flavor sets in Italian food.  Mozzarella, basil and tomato form the perfect blend of sweet, creamy, and a little bit of punch all in one bite.  There is a texture element too, and this sandwich is all about textures.  The crunchy from the toasted baguette, the chewy creamy melted mozzarella, the melt in your mouth pesto, and the juicy luscious tomato.  All of these together create quite the enjoyable sensation in your mouth, and it takes a bit of self restraint to not scarf it down all in one bite!  Sorry this one is only gluten free if you find some GF bread to use!  I splurged and got my own baguette for myself, which I’ve been taunting my husband with all week haha.  Ok so I am kinda mean sometimes, lol.  He knows it’s in good fun.  Right honey? haha.  I have yet to find a GF baguette recipe.  I’ve never even actually attempted my own baguettes.  If you know of a good beginning baguette recipe, or even a GF baguette recipe, please let me know!

In reality this is not very different from a dressed up variation on bruschetta, but with all the toppings, the fact that I didn’t brush it with olive oil etc., it really is just an open faced sandwich.  My bread isn’t toasted so much that it’s crouton-like, it’s still a little bit chewy in the middle.  If I am going to eat bread, I like to really enjoy it with a thick hearty slice that I can sink my teeth into.


1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tbs. EVOO
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups basil leaves
Ten 3/4″ thick slices of French baguette
2 medium flavorful and ripe tomatoes, sliced
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese

1. First, make the pesto – set aside 10 basil leaves for garnish later.  Add pine nuts, EVOO, garlic, parmesan cheese , and basil to a food processor, adding more or less depending on what you need for the consistency you are happy with, and pulse until it becomes a pesto.
2.  Toast your baguette slices.  For this I used my toaster oven (though a regular oven could also work) at 350 until they just started to brown slightly on the top – just a few minutes.  I wanted them to dry a bit but not become too dry.  Then take them out.
3. Assemble your sandwich – baguette, then spread some pesto, then tomato slice, then more pesto, then mozzarella slice.  Bake again at 375F until the mozzarella cheese  melts all over your sandwich, about 5 minutes if your oven is preheated.
4. Garnish with fresh basil leaf and serve.


Yeah total green cast on that 2nd pic….the baguette totally picked up on that green hue…nothing I could do worked to get rid of it without totally distorting the basil and pesto color…a warming filter worked on the top picture, but definitely did not work on the 2nd pic.  bummer.  I also took this at like 6 pm, so the light wasn’t ideal (well, it’s never ideal haha).


Lindsey June 29, 2009 at 4:30 am

Looks fantastic! Great for Summertime!

littlebluehen June 29, 2009 at 5:40 am

I’ve never met a caprese that I didn’t like. Yum.

I cannot recommend highly enough Peter Reinhart’s pain a l’ancienne technique to make baguettes. I made them for the first time a few weeks ago and despite being ugly (my fault), they were delicious. Amazingly so.

Bridget’s are prettier and she typed up the recipe:

Cate June 29, 2009 at 7:32 am

This is one of the best flavor combinations in the world! Love the photo, too!

Stephanie June 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

Your top picture is awesome! Looks so good!

alauna June 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm

these look so great!

Ellie June 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Not only is my mouth watering, but I’m also turning green with envy over your lens – those pictures are GORGE!!!

Joelen June 29, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Mmm – that bit of pesto is wonderful and great pics!

Katrina (gluten free gidget) June 30, 2009 at 11:53 am

I just found your blog. I LOVE your food philosophy and your pictures are so vibrant. I can’t wait to explore your post archive and read your updates!

Woman With a Whisk June 30, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I would totally frame that first picture and put it in my kitchen. Just sayin. =)

Woman With a Whisk July 1, 2009 at 12:18 am

Oh, and I gave you an award. It’s on my blog.

Becca July 1, 2009 at 3:35 am

I just did a post on basil… then saw this on your site! Ahhhh, caprese sandwiches. Is anything better in the summer?!

Mary Ellen July 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm

These are beautiful – I love fresh mozzarella!

Melissa July 2, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I came over here from Serious Eats’ Photograzing page so that I could stare longingly at one of my favorite things to eat all summer long. *Sigh* Those are beautiful. The pesto is a great add – I like to eat these with a little slice of chicken sometimes too.

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