Thursday, July 5, 2012

the summer BMT - my favorite sandwich




I. love. Summer.

I especially love what comes from Summer.  There is little that excites me more than planning where the herbs will go, which perennials will bloom that I have forgotten were planted in previous years, and choosing the types of tomatoes we'll grow for the season.  Oh, yeah!  And I love choosing the types of tomatoes we'll grow for the season.

By the way...  Did I mention how much I love choosing the types of tomatoes we'll grow for the season?

OK.  So maybe I should edit my opening line...

I. love. Summer.  (and tomatoes.)

A little over two weeks ago, we finally got just enough rain in the wee hours of the morning to allow us to do some much-needed weeding.  What would've taken hours in our current sun-parched soil was a breeze after that last soaker.

(Always prefer dirt in my sandals over sand.)
I could tell after spending some quality time weeding around the fruit, we only had a matter of days left before our first crop would be ripe for the picking.  An heirloom Cherokee Purple, bright red Better Boys and Beefsteaks were the first to come.  Yum!

With all that said, I figure my first recipe post should share my absolute favorite use of our annual planting.  I call it, The Summer BMT (short for basil-pesto, mozarella and tomato).  

Meet the stars of the show.

It nicely marries the pungent flavors of vine-ripened tomatoes and basil with the subtle ones of creamy mozzarella.  And nothing, nothing is better than dipping the final product in a blend of good olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.  I could eat this every day.  Give our plants about another week of production, and that's exactly what I'll be doing!

The Summer BMT - makes two sandwiches
Ingredients:

For the sandwich

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 thick slices good french bread
  • 4 thick slices fresh mozzarella, such as Bel Gioioso
  • 2 T favorite pesto (my recipe to come)
  • 1 medium tomato of choice


For the dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste

~To make the sandwich, heat grill pan or grill to medium heat.  Brush olive oil on the outside of bread slices and spread one tablespoon pesto on inside of one slice.  Place cheese on top of pesto, tomato slices on top of cheese, and top with remaining slice of bread.  Put the sandwich on top of grill and place cast iron skillet or foil-wrapped brick on top of sandwich to press.  When cheese begins to soften, turn sandwich to other side to finish heating through until cheese is fully melted.

~To make the sauce, add vinegar to olive oil until desired taste is reached (we like it tart).  It is best to use a hand blender, or other type of blender, to emulsify the oil and vinegar.

Recipe from The Lazy Daisy Kitchen