Saturday, June 19, 2010

Italian Caprese Sandwich

Yes. Hello! Once again, I've been blog-delinquent, and while I have a few fairly valid excuses (end of the school year, my oldest Sprout graduating, dead computer, etc) I think I'm up and running again and have several new posts I'm excited to share in the next few weeks! Please stay tuned. No more wandering off...

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

"Caprese" is a traditional Italian combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. While it's usually served as a salad, I like to serve it on crusty bread or focaccia.

I also skip the mozzarella (even though I know this is a signature ingredient in the "traditional" sandwich) and use either marinated, thinly sliced tofu, or, since the introduction of a fairly good vegan mozzarella (Teese) sometimes I'll use that. Either way, use garden-ripened tomatoes and lots of basil and the end result is fresh tasting, easy and the perfect picnic food!

For about four people:
Bread for four people: Crusty baguettes or rolls, chewy ciabatta or focaccia bread (Safeway bakery makes some beautiful, little, all-vegan, ciabatta rolls that are perfect here!)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
4 garden-ripe fresh tomatoes
4 thin slices very fresh, firm tofu, marinated** OR thinly sliced Teese brand mozzarella-style vegan cheese
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cut bread in half. Lay, cut-side up, on baking pan and toast under broiler until just barely starting to toast.
Remove from oven and rub with clove of garlic, as much or little as you like. Drizzle just a tiny bit of olive oil on bread.
Layer sliced tomatoes and sliced tofu or cheese evenly over four sandwiches. Lay basil leaves on top. Season with salt and pepper. Make into sandwiches and cut in half for easier eating.
Can be wrapped well and kept for a day or so in the fridge or ice chest. The flavors soak into the bread and are DELICIOUS!!

**Marinated tofu: thinly slice 1/2 a block of firm tofu and lay in shallow glass dish. Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup FRESH squeezed lemon juice over tofu and turn to coat. Refrigerate several hours or overnight, turning several times. The lemon juice won't cover all of it and it won't really soak in, just flavors the outside. Drain and pat off excess marinade to use.

I'll proudly leave you with a picture from Jessika's high-school graduation two weeks ago - because even though it's not actually food-related, I'm just that proud.


Jessica said...

I'll have to try this. I love a good tomato sandwich, but I haven't thought of adapting the caprese. I like mine with a little balsamic, too.

lynn said...

We don't have that cheese over here in Britain, but I'm sure I'll find something if I look hard enough - definitely going to try these sandwiches.
Lovely photo of your family - you must be so proud.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Lynn, the marinated tofu is also a great option and we use it frequently instead of "cheese".

Sam said...

Okay. I'm going to try this. I love Tofu but am not good at cooking with it. P.S. that sandwich looks to die for. Come see my sandwich blog, I'd be honored. Keri a.k.a. Sam