I know that I am probably the last person on earth to make something caprese, but for some reason or another I always found excuses not to make it. Don’t have fresh, homegrown tomatoes, no basil, forgot to buy fresh mozzarella, and the list goes on. I think I must have finally run out of excuses because I found myself making this panini the other day.
And I didn’t have local, fresh tomatoes.
Or fresh mozzarellla.
And I had very limited quantities of basil. (This is due to the fact that I manage to kill all my plants and my sickly basil is just one more strike against my green thumb.)
And yet, this sandwich was still simply amazing. And easy. It left me wondering why on earth I had not made it sooner. It also left me wanting to make it every single day for lunch. Yep, it is that good. I think you’re going to be seeing a lot more caprese themed food around this ‘ol bloggy soon.
I was so glad I had some leftover ciabatta rolls in the freezer. Best bread purchase ever. They definitely upped the taste of this panini. I’m all out, so now I guess I need to find a homemade recipe for ciabatta rolls.
Also, I know that Caprese is always made with mozzarella cheese, but since I didn’t have any fresh mozzarella, I also used some yummy white cheddar I had on hand. Breaking the rules, I know, but it still turned out great.
On to the giveaway:
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll notice that my photos have been improving (or at least I think they have!!). That is due, in a very small part to getting a DSLR camera. However, I found out that just having a DSLR camera did not mean I had good photos. The major improvement in my photos has come from reading Lindsay’s (from Pinch of Yum) eBook, Tasty Food Photography. Lindsay provided me a free copy of her updated book and wanted to give one of my reader’s a chance to win a free eBook as well.
I quickly fell in love with Tasty Food Photography. A while back, I purchased a highly recommended food photography book, but it’s been sitting on my shelf collecting dust ever since it came in the mail. I’m sure it’s a great book, but the size is rather daunting and as a mother of a small child, I never feel like I have the time to read something that large.
That’s where Lindsay’s book comes in handy. It’s an eBook, so it never seems daunting. Also, everything is presented in very easy to read, simple language. She lays everything out so easily for those of us who don’t have technical photography knowledge. The book is extremely practical and even walks you step-by-step through the editing process. Finally, Lindsay also gave me lots of recommendations on ways to improve my photography using things I already have! For example: I don’t need to buy any high tech/expensive reflectors, I can just use a folded piece of paper.
I hope I have you super excited to win a copy of Tasty Food Photography! Enter below using the rafflecopter widget. (Just give it a minute to load.) Also, Lindsay is offering all of my readers 25% discount on Tasty Food Photography using the code: newversion25, good through July 31st. (This makes the normally priced $19 book, $14.25) Don’t miss your chance to score a copy of this terrific ebook at 25% off!
Also, if you purchase the book and then you happen to win it, Lindsay will refund your money – how’s that for a deal?? (If you buy this book, I will receive a percentage from affiliate sales, although this does not affect the amount you pay. Thank you for supporting my blog!)
If you’ve never been to Pinch of Yum’s blog, you need to go now. Lindsay fixes awesome food with great photographs and her hubby Bjork is the tech support and financial side of the blog.
Adapted from: Simply Scratch
Yield: 2 Sandwiches
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 ciabatta rolls
1 large tomato
16 small fresh basil leaves (or 6-8 large ones)
2 slices mozarella cheese (or mozarella and white cheddar mix)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Pour balsamic vinegar into small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, until vinegar is reduced to 4 Tablespoons. Remove from heat.
2. Preheat indoor grill (if you don’t have one just use a frying pan and something to flatten the sandwich). Drizzle half of vinegar on inside top half of bread. Drizzle half of olive oil on bottom inside half of bread. Top olive oil with tomato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add half of basil leaves and a slice of cheese. Top with other half of bun and repeat for remaining sandwich. Place on indoor grill and close lid. Cook until warm throughout and the cheese is melted, turning once through cooking (to flatten the other side). Serve warm.