Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The countdown to tomato season

It feels like summer in Kansas.  And, summer in Kansas means garden fresh least around or shortly after July 4th (as is the standard of gardening excellence in my family).

After the first ripe tomato turns into a steady supply, the canning begins.  In the really good years, even canning and eating tomatoes for at least two meals a day can't keep up with the production.  I can't wait!  We are especially excited because last year's tomato crop was a bust.

To get into the spirit of things, I wanted to make something with fresh tomatoes.  The tomato options at the grocery store are still a little off-season, but I could not resist this tasty looking sandwich.

I love this sandwich for many reasons - it was easy to make, it had great flavors, and the mix of ingredients made for a perfect early summer supper.

Source:  How Sweet It Is

Roasted Tomato Caprese Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Glaze
serves 2
6 tomatoes (vine or roma), sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella
12-15 basil leaves
4 slices seedy bread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place tomatoes on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45-50 minutes. While tomatoes are roasting, add vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat, pour vinegar in a bowl or glass to pour, and let sit.
Once tomatoes are finished, heat a large griddle or skillet over medium heat. Brush the outsides of each slice of bread with olive oil, then place mozzarella on one slide, followed by tomatoes, basil (feel free to shred it if you’d like), more tomatoes and more mozzarella. Cook until cheese is melty and each side is golden, about 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately drizzle with balsamic.

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