© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: NapaStyle
Servings: 4 sandwiches
My daughter Gianna and her friends love these golden brown grilled sandwiches. I make them on Saturdays while they're swimming or playing and cut them into small triangles for easy eating. Cut small, they also make great cocktail food or a tiny, warm bite to offer guests before dinner. A whole sandwich with a green salad is a perfect quick lunch. You'll need 2 nonstick skillets to make 4 sandwiches at once, or you can make 2 sandwiches and keep them warm in a low oven while you cook the others.
8 slices country-style bread, each ½ inch thick
½ pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
8 Oven-Dried Tomatoes
16 large fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
First, assemble the sandwiches: On each of 4 bread slices, place 3 slices of cheese. Season with salt, then top with 2 tomato halves, 4 basil leaves, and another slice of bread.
Heat 2 large nonstick skillets over moderately high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter to each skillet and swirl to melt the butter and coat the skillet. Put 2 sandwiches in each skillet and place a heavy skillet on top as a weight; if the upper skillet isn't heavy, put more weight, such as canned goods, inside it. Cook until the sandwiches are well browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, then remove them. Add another ½ tablespoon butter to each skillet, and return the sandwiches, browned side up, to the skillets. Weight as before and cook until the second side is well browned, about 3 minutes longer.
Cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal and serve immediately.
24 plum (Roma) tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for storing
2 tablespoons Herbes de Napa
1 clove garlic, minced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Arrange the tomato halves cut side up and close together on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the 6 tablespoons olive oil, the herbs, and the garlic. Spoon a little over each tomato half, stirring the mixture as you go.
Bake until the tomatoes are soft and shriveled but still retain some moisture, 5 to 8 hours. Timing will depend on how large, meaty, and juicy the tomatoes are. Let cool completely, then arrange the tomatoes in a plastic container, making no more than two layers. Add olive oil to cover completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate.