Caprese Sandwich

This Caprese Sandwich takes the classic tomato and mozzarella salad and puts between two slices of olive oil toasted bread, making it a classic you can wrap your hands around.

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Caprese sandwich on a wooden cutting board with a white plate and red napkin in the background.

What is a Caprese Sandwich?

The word “Caprese” always refers to the classic combination of tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil and is almost always used to describe a salad. But if you take those same ingredients and put them between two perfectly toasted slices of  rustic bread, season it perfectly and add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, you get a Caprese Sandwich. It’s not a complicated sandwich to make, but there are a few tips that take it from good to great. 

Ingredients on a wooden cutting board - balsamic vinegar, olive oil, bread, mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Caprese Ingredients

Whenever you have a recipe with just a few ingredients, the quality of each ingredient is super important. However, the most important ingredient in this sandwich is the tomato. While you can get tomatoes all year round, I think this sandwich is best made when tomatoes are at their best at the end of summer. A delicious ripe tomato is a must. The bread you use is also important, but you do have options. Use a rustic white or whole wheat loaf that you can cut yourself into perfectly sized slices, or a thick piece of focaccia, but whichever you use, be sure to toast it nicely. You can toast it under the broiler with olive oil brushed on it, fry it in a skillet with a little oil or toast it in your toaster first and then drizzle immediately with olive oil.

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A sandwich being built on a wooden cutting board with tomato slices on a piece of bread and other ingredients around.

Season Each Layer

When you build the sandwich, be sure to season each layer. The tomatoes need a good sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper AND the mozzarella needs another dose of the same. Mozzarella is a very mild cheese and without the seasoning, there’s not much flavor going on. Don’t skip this step.

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A sandwich being built on a wooden cutting board with fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar on top.

Balsamic Vinegar

A Caprese salad is dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, so the same is applied to the sandwich. A good balsamic vinegar with a little viscosity is best so that it doesn’t run right off the cheese. If your vinegar is very thin, reduce it a little in a saucepan to make it a little thicker before drizzling it on. You can also use store-bought balsamic glaze if you prefer.

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A hand putting a basil leave on top of mozzarella cheese.

Fresh Basil

You can use as much basil as you like, but make sure you use enough so that every bite has some tomato, mozzarella and basil included. 

A caprese sandwich on a white plate with a red napkin in the background.

Keys to a Great Caprese

The keys to this Caprese Sandwich are simple:

  • Use the best ingredients you can find and make sure the tomato is perfectly ripe.
  • Season each layer of the sandwich – tomatoes AND the cheese.
  • Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar OR reduce your vinegar so that it is thick enough to stay on the cheese.

Then, all you have left to do is cut it in half and enjoy!

Caprese Sandwich

  • Prep Time: 9 m
  • Total Time: 9 m
  • Servings:
    1
    sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices rustic bread white or whole wheat
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil , divided
  • ¼ cup arugula
  • 4 ½-inch slices ripe beefsteak tomato
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ½-inch slices fresh mozzarella
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 5 to 6 leaves fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil and toast them in a skillet or under the broiler until lightly toasted. Alternately, toast the bread in a toaster and immediately drizzle with olive oil.

  2. Place the arugula down on one slice of bread and top with the slices of tomato. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Place the slices of fresh mozzarella on the tomatoes and season again with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar on the mozzarella cheese and top with the leaves of basil.

  5. Add the top slice of bread, cut the sandwich in half and serve.
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