In honour of it being "Grilled Cheese Month" (hee hee), I have had 3 grilled cheese sandwiches this week... gross, I know! I'll be eating vegan the rest of the week to cleanse my arteries! ;) This one was by far the best (sorry In-N-Out, your grilled cheese has been knocked down a bit...)
Grilled Margherita Sandwiches
AKA: Caprese Panini
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices of crusty Italian bread
1 large garlic clove, minced (superfood!)
4-6 slices of low-fat mozzarella
1 large tomato, thinly sliced (superfood!)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil (superfood!)
1. Preheat panini press. (*See note below).
Brush one side of each piece of bread with olive oil - this will give the bread a nice browned finish. Flip the slices so they are oiled side down and top each slice with mozzarella.
2. Mix the basil and garlic together. Top the mozzarella slices with tomato slices and then the basil-garlic mixture. Top with more mozzarella and then a top slice of bread (oiled side up).
3. Place the sandwiches in the panini maker and cook for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly toasted. Yum!
If you don't have a panini press, you can make these on a grill pan under the broiler or on the stove-top in a skillet.
For the broiler, spray the broiler pan with a little fat-free cooking spray. Place sandwiches on the pan and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are lightly toasted. You'll probably need to flip them so both sides get nice and toasty.
For the stove-top, heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Place sandwiches in the skillet. Cover and cook 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese on the bottom of the sandwich is melting.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the sandwiches and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until all the cheese is melted and both sides are toasted.
Based on the Grilled Margherita Sandwich recipe from the April/May 2008 issue of Cooking Pleasures Magazine.
*Rather than quarter a garlic clove and rub it on the bread, I minced the clove and mixed it in with the basil. This gave a great garlicy flavour.
*I used low-fat mozzarella in place of the whole-milk stuff. I'm sure they are 10 times better with the whole-milk cheese but I have a history of high cholesterol in my family so I'd better watch it! :)
*I skipped the garlic-pepper seasoning.