Fresh and creamy mozzarella with juicy, grilled tomatoes and a kick of garlic scape pesto! Inside toasted bread? You won’t know what hit you. So, so outrageously delicious.
Garlic scapes are plentiful at the farmer’s markets right now. That is, if you dare to venture out in the heat. Luckily I got up early yesterday morning and made my way to my neighborhood market. Garlic scapes grow like a stalk from the actual garlic bulb. Initially tender, they are harvested early and can be used in many ways: Stir frys, salads and pesto! But honestly, what can’t you make into pesto? Garlic scapes are less sharp and strong than regular garlic cloves and make a dynamic and flavorful pesto.
I’ve had grilled cheese on the brain lately. It’s been too warm to use the oven and have only wanted to use the stove top for short bits of cooking. What to make? Ooh, grilled cheese! And I just got these garlic scapes… I’m going to make pesto but what would complement it? Fresh mozzarella. And tomatoes! Everyone loves caprese! Imagine melty, creamy caprese salad with grilled buttery bread and luscious, garlicky pesto. Oh yes, I did.
1 medium tomato, sliced and grilled
4 slices of bread, sourdough or ciabatta style preferred
6 slices of fresh salted mozzarella, 3 per sandwich
butter for the bread
For the Garlic Scape Pesto:
1/2 C grated Romano cheese
1/3 C pine nuts
1/8-1/4 C olive oil
10 garlic scapes, trim the bulb end off
Take out the butter and let soften while you make the pesto.
Grate the Romano cheese (Tip: Pecorino or Fulvi are my favorite Romanos. Parmesan or even Asiago would be fine here as well.) and chop up the garlic scapes. Add everything to the food processor, including the pine nuts and pulse to a very chunky consistency. Begin to add the olive oil. (Note: I prefer a very chunky consistency therefore I don’t add a lot of olive oil.) Add just enough to incorporate all the ingredients well. Using a spoonula, scrape down the sides to determine whether you would like to add the rest of the oil.
I like to put together an assembly line so place everything on small plates and set out a bowl of the pesto. Butter the bread and set aside. Slice the mozzarella and tomatoes. Heat the pan to medium heat and add the tomatoes. Grill on both side for a minute and set aside. Now begin assembling the sandwiches! (Note: I didn’t add any salt to the pesto as the cheese is salty enough. And the mozzarella is salted as well.)
Place three slices of mozzarella and half the tomato on each sandwich. Spoon about one teaspoon of the pesto over the top, and feel free to add more if you love garlic! Grate a bit of fresh pepper and add to the hot pan. (Tip: Using a lid over the sandwich will help the sandwich brown!) Cook about 3-4 minutes and flip. Repeat to your desired “meltiness”.
This makes enough for two sandwiches so double as needed. I’m going to predict that you will may even need to triple!
Add a pickle, slice in half and take a bite. Now, enjoy!!
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