Baked Panzanella Caprese — Damn Delicious

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Baked Panzanella Caprese

My favorite ingredients are mozzarella and balsamic vinegar so when I saw Giada making this dish, I was immediately filled with euphoria. The only thing that held me back from making this dish was the fresh basil. Every time I buy fresh basil, it’s never very fresh. It’s always wilted and a bit old-looking. But when I watch Food Network, all of the chefs have these herbs in the form of a plant so they’re all SUPER fresh. I’ve been very jealous until I found my very own basil plant at Trader Joe’s.

(Isn’t it just beautiful?! It was very inexpensive ($2.99) and they can live for years!)

Baked Panzanella Caprese (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis):

Yields 2 servings

  • Butter, for greasing baking sheet
  • 2-3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch think slices
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (8 oz) ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 (1/2-inch thick) slices country white bread

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 12-inch rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.

Arrange the tomato slices on the bottom of the baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.

Lay the cheese slices on top in a single layer.

Sprinkle with the garlic and basil and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange the bread slices on top and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the bread is crisp and golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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