Most of you know that I am
obsessed in love with any and all recipes that are "caprese". I have made Open Faced Caprese Sandwiches, Chicken Caprese Pasta, Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breasts, and Caprese Meatball Subs. Yes, I could eat that lovely blend of creamy mozzarella, juicy tomato, fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar everyday!
I am not sure that Kevin follows along with that idea though. I mean, you know Mr I Need Meat, but he does put up with a meatless meal once in a while to keep me happy.
Then I received a package of Formaggio cheese. There, before me, was luscious, creamy, hand pulled mozzarella cheese YUM!!
So of course you know my mind immediately wandered to my lovely caprese salad BUT I had also been wanting to make pizza.
Hhhhmmm, what to do?
Do I think I can get away with serving just salad for dinner? Uumm, no.
Can I sell Kevin on a meatless meal if it is in the form of pizza? Possibly.
Do I really want to make pizza dough? Not really.
Where are my car keys?
I had originally planned on grabbing a loaf of french bread (having visions of my younger days living on Stoffer's french bread pizzas), but there in front of me was this lovely loaf of ciabatta bread. My store never has ciabatta, I mean nevvvvvvvvvver.
It must be a sign! Ciabatta it is!
I knew I would love this, I mean how could I not? But was shocked by how much Kevin loved it!
All that fresh gooey cheese, sweet tomato, and tangy balsamic reduction was just too much for his taste buds to deny and he had to bow down to the mighty caprese.
Yesssss, score one for me!!
1 loaf ciabatta bread, horizontally cut in half
1 head of garlic, roasted (see how to roast garlic here)
4 tablespoon butter, room temperature
12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in 12 slices
2 to 3 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 12 slices
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place both sides of the ciabatta on a large baking sheet with the cut side up.
In a small bowl, combine butter and roasted garlic and spread evenly on bread halves. Place the mozzarella cheese slices on top of the bread, making sure the cheese covers the bread completely. Layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the cheese. Bake the bread for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
While the bread is in the oven, make the balsamic reduction. In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
Remove the bread from oven. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
Cut into slices and serve.