Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella. They never fail.

21 Aug

Definitely a tough choice between a BLT and a Caprese sandwich for me, but lately I have re-discovered my love for these simple, healthy and easy to make snacks. All you need is fresh basil, good mozzarella cheese (I sometimes use goat cheese to change it up), a loaf of bread of your choosing,  and ripe tomatoes, which, here in Oregon at the moment are in full bloom. Top it off with some home made reduced-balsamic and a little salt and you have yourself a gourmet lunch in minutes. Make into a smaller version on crostini for a perfect party appetizer.

Reduced Balsamic:

This is a serious staple for me. Not only does it add a wonderful sweet acidity, it also visually really finishes off a dish. Basically you are concentrating the vinegar, cooking it down to a thick, almost syrup like texture. I keep it in a small squeeze bottle in the pantry or fridge, and it lasts for a long time. A little bit goes a long way, and be aware of who is in the house while you are making it as it definitely puts off some serious fumes.

Directions:

I’m sure there are text book ways of doing this, but this is how I go about it and it works well every time.

Pour a large amount of decent balsamic vinegar into a medium pot, and bring to a simmer uncovered over medium-low heat. Reduce heat as needed and allow to cook anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so. The longer you cook it, the more it condenses and the sweeter it gets. To test its readiness, place a metal spoon in the pot. When its done the liquid should coat the back without disappearing.

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