In the northwest, recently we've been under a heat wave. Ok, so for me a heat wave is any temp over 70° for more than 2 or 3 days….. So, I've been having trouble finding “heat-proof” dinners, from items on the grill to cold dinner that require very little actual cooking (meaning not turning on the stove).
One of my favorite things ever is Caprese salad, or Insalata Caprese, literally meaning "Salad of Capri" is a simple salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, black pepper and olive oil. It was made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag: red, white, and green. In Italy, it is usually served as an antipasto, or starter, not a side dish unlike most salads.
I know, I know, you're thinking…”but Bob, you hate tomatoes”. And you'd be right to think that, because I really to dislike fresh tomatoes, not that I don't want to like them, there's just a taste…metallic…gardeny…I can't describe. Now cook em, and I'm like a fat kid with cake. It's just the raw version that it don't like.
So what do you do? LIGHTBULB! Substitute cucumbers!
Here's how this all came about…..I wanted a cool dinner sandwich. What better than to “brown” a baguette on the grill, slice mozzarella, tomato (for Craig), cucumber and basil, put it all together for a delicious and easy dinner.
1 baguette (I used a par baked or brown and serve loaf)
1 large tomato, sliced
1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
15-20 leaves of basil, julienned
Balsamic vinegar (I had a glaze that I used)
Olive Oil, to brush on the bread
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cut baguette into thirds, and slice in half.
Lightly brush with olive oil,
Place slices of tomato on bread, or cucumbers for tomato haters,
Place mozzarella on vegetables,
Drizzle vinegar on mozzarella,
Sprinkle salt and pepper on top and place the top on the bread back on.
Serve and enjoy!