oA couple weeks ago, our little family decided to migrate north for a few days to the blissfully cool, delightfully charming neighborhood of Kitsilano in Vancouver. It was a lovely break from the heat and we spent our time just bumbling about, exploring local cafes and coffee shops, beaches and playgrounds. On day two, after a lovely (and looong) morning of chasing a toddler on this beach, just when I thought I was going to faint from hunger- we stumbled into a sweet little sandwich shop that makes everything from scratch and sources ingredients from local farms-win! Saved by a sandwich.
Boy, did you pick a good day to show up to class. Today is three for one day. As in, you get the three recipes that make up this cheesy, messy, gooey, grab two napkins, get-in-my-belly-right-now Grilled Tomato Caprese Sandwich all for the price of one. Use the extra pesto on pasta or as a topping for grilled meats and roasted veggies. And make an extra batch of the oven roasted tomatoes-you’re going to want them on your pasta and salads all week long. This is obviously one of those days when we’re not really low-carbing it. Although you can put all this deliciousness into a whole wheat pita pocket if you like- which is what I will do for Alan.
While their version was lovely- today’s is grilled because, when is melted cheese not a good idea? We’re also roasting the tomatoes for an extra punch of flavor.
First, roast your tomatoes. I am a huge fan of today’s cooking lending a helping hand to tomorrow’s meal- so make extra. You can sub dried herbs if you don’t have access to fresh ones- but let’s save that as a last resort. My fave combo is basil and thyme. However, I detest the time 😉 consuming process of cleaning thyme. That was, until my fairy god mother (you know who you are, and I adore you) gifted me this magical little tool. You slip the thyme sprig in, whip it through and Voila! It also has larger holes on one side that make quick work of stripping kale from it’s ribs. This is super handy when making our Tuscan White Bean Sausage and Kale soup. I highly recommend you go Pin the soup recipe and save it for that first cool evening of Fall. You can get your own herb stripper (or gift to fellow herb/kale lovers) here.
While your tomatoes are roasting (and making your kitchen smell like heaven) whip up your pesto. This batch makes more then you need, so plan on having leftovers. (lucky you)
So easy peasy- just pulse everything together in the food processor (NOT the blender-this is a food processor thing) And yours is probably far nicer than mine. I’m pretty certain Alan stole this one from his mother’s house when he moved out- oh say, 25 years ago. But, hey- it works!
And now- it’s time for lunching on this grilled tomato caprese sandwich! Take two slices of rustic french bread, slather both pieces with pesto, layer with shredded buffalo mozzarella (tearing your cheese into smaller pieces lends to better meltability (meltability…I may be making up words, but you get the point). Layer on some of those lovely maters, and grill in a non stick skillet with a little olive oil until the cheese is good and melty. The recipe is for two servings- because this should be shared.
While my love of gooey melted cheese is sooooo obvious, you could always skip the grilling and wrap these up for a picnic. These are also great for parties (the non-grilled version)- just lay out all the components buffet style and let your guests assemble their own.
Feel free to scroll right on down for the recipe- but if you are as done with August as I am and could use a quick escape to cooler weather- go book a ticket to Vancouver like right NOW and be sure to stay in Kitsilano- most adorable neighborhood ever.
You could stay in this adorable Airbnb property that we rented.
Which is only one block from this fabulous Kitsilano coffee shop.
Get your caffeine fix and head over to Granville market. I am such a sucker for a good market.
Also a sucker for tree lined streets, water views, craftsman architecture, local bookshops and cute boutiques. Okay, I’m just going back. Meet you in Vancouver. Happy weekend, everyone!