Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lunch for One

I watched an episode of Giada the other day where she made this baked "salad" that was a combination of Caprese and Panzanella salads.

A Caprese salad is a classic salad of fresh mozzarella, sliced ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and sometimes balsamic (or a balsamic reduction).  Panzanella is typically a grilled vegetable salad of tomatoes and squashes that also includes grilled bread mixed in.  Both are very delicious.  And very Italian :)

The bake Giada made was a large party sized thing in a tray, but I modified it to make a nice 4-5 point lunch for myself.  I used a mini loaf pan and the following ingredients:

two small tomoatoes or four slices of tomato about 1/2" thick
one clove of garlic minced
one ounce of fresh mozzarella sliced (sliced to fit the pan)
one-two tablespoons olive oil
two fresh basil leaves
one piece whole wheat bread
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Spray the mini loaf pan with cooking spray, place the four slices of tomatoes in the bottom and pour about a tablespoon of balsamic over then sprinkle with salt and pepper and half the minced garlic. Place the slice of mozzarella on top and add the rest of the garlic and the basil (chopped).  Cut the bread to just fit the top of whatever pan you're using, and place it on top of the cheese.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil, so it gets nice and crusty.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and the bread is toasty.

Carefully remove from the pan and enjoy!  It might be juicy under there, so watch out!

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