Recipe Makeover: Caprese Panini

Contributed by Samantha Zeigler, Author of the blog Running and Cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago my brother and I went out to lunch at a local chain called Fat Belly’s. I had a caprese Panini that I’ve been dreaming about ever since that day.
With nothing in mind for a Wednesday night dinner, I picked up the ingredients and had my hand at recreating this recipe. The restaurant version was a bit too greasy for me. Other than that, though, this isn’t the healthiest recipe on the planet – it still has butter and lots of cheese.
But it’s a simple weeknight dinner if you’re pressed (haha no pun intended) for time.

  • 1 loaf French bread (or whatever bread you prefer) sliced – you need 4 “Panini” sized slices
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • butter
  • balsamic dressing
What to do
Slice the French bread into "Panini” slices (that’s the technical term for it).

Butter one side of  each slice of bread and place two of those slices butter side down in a large skillet (or Panini press if you’re lucky enough to have one).
Line the bread with slices of mozzarella.
Place the basil leaves on top of the mozzarella.
Place the tomatoes on top of the basil. At this point I had a couple of slices of mozzarella left, so I placed those on top of the tomatoes to make it really cheesy.
Place the unbuttered side of the other two slices of bread on top of your mozzarella/basil/tomato stack.
If you have a Panini press then press away until desired doneness.
Otherwise, grille one side of the bread until desired doneness. Flip the Panini. While this side is grilling, place something heavy on top of the Panini’s to “press” them together. I used a pot with a heavy fruit bowl in it.
When done, open Panini up and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Delicious!
Let me know what you think if you try this!
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