Caprese Grilled Cheese + Wine Pairing
Mozzarella + Tomatoes + Basil = Caprese. Name a more iconic equation...I'll wait. While caprese is normally served as a salad, possibly with some balsamic reduction drizzled over the top, putting the ingredients into a toasty sandwich transforms something light and fresh into something comforting and melty.
This sandwich is made with vegan mozzarella, vegan pesto, and tomato paste. Something about fresh tomatoes on a warm or toasted sandwich just doesn't sit well with me- soggy bread much? Tomato paste is a rich, thick paste made by reducing tomatoes for hours and straining out all the seeds and skin. The result is a smooth, deep, tomato flavor that goes perfectly on this grilled cheese with no risk of soggy bread. If you like fresh tomatoes on a warm sandwich (no judgement...I guess), you can certainly add them on or replace the tomato paste with them.
It can be tricky to pair a wine with fresh flavors, like basil and tomatoes. Ultimately, with the Summer heat still blazing down on me (these California heat waves are no joke), I chose a chilled Lambrusco Rosé. Lambrusco is a sparkling Italian red wine- some being sweet, some semi-sweet, and some dry. Rosé has been my Summer wine of choice ('tis the season) and it goes just as well as anticipated with this tasty grilled cheese. The wine I chose is slightly sweet with strawberry and rose flavors that balance the toasty and nutty flavors of this sandwich.
The Rosé I paired this recipe with is Cavicchioli Spumante Dolce Rosé 1928 (Emilia-Romagna, Italy). I found it at World Market and recommend you try it, too. I have to note that this is my new favorite Rosé and I'll be drinking it for the rest of Summer. You can certainly use another Rosé that you like or can find locally.
If you try this recipe, let me know! If you pair yours with a different wine, let me know how it goes! Leave a comment below, or share a picture on instagram with #datkindlife . Stay kind, bbs!
Caprese Grilled Cheese
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 5 mins Total Time: 20 mins
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 2 slices vegan bread (I used Dave’s Killer Bread “Power Seed”)
· vegan pesto, like this
· 4 slices fresh vegan mozzarella (I used Miyoko’s Fresh Italian Style Vegan Mozz)
· 1 tablespoon tomato paste
· salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
2. Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil, place oil sides together while you build the Sammy. Spread one slice (non-oiled side) with your vegan pesto, then layer the mozzarella slices on the pesto, spread tomato paste on the other slice of bread (non-oiled side), sprinkle salt and fresh cracked black pepper directly onto the tomato paste.
3. Place the oil side of the bread with the mozzarella into the hot pan, and top it with the tomato bread slice (oil side facing out). Press the sandwich down with a spatula and allow to cook about two minutes, or until the bread is toasty and browned to your liking. Flip the sandwich and allow to cook 2-3 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and sandwich is browned to your liking. Enjoy!