My brother in law lived in Italy for a couple of years and came home addicted to Caprese Sandwiches. He and my sister Diana, eat these babies like they are candy. They would rather eat this sandwich over any ooey-gooey dessert, and when they eat this sandwich they are practically drooling over the table. I was at Diana’s house the other day and she could barely share a bite with me because she is afraid I don’t appreciate the goodness of this sandwich as much as I should. I may have to agree with her on that. I would still rather have a slice of chocolate cake over this delectable sandwich. However, I can say the fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden is hard to beat..no matter how you slice it πŸ˜‰

This sandwich couldn’t be easier to make. All you need is some freshly baked ciabatta bread (yes you can make your own, but who has time for that??). Personally, Walmart makes a pretty darn good ciabatta bread if you ask me. Slice the bread lengthwise. Drizzle with good quality olive oil. Place the sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese (MUST be fresh mozzarella…the stuff at Costco is THE best!!) on top of the bottom piece of bread. Add a thick layer of fresh basil from your garden, salt, pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on the top, and voila! Authentic Italian cuisine in the comforts of your own kitchen.

I do have to say it is a very pretty sandwich. It’s so festive with the red, white and green, just like the Italian flag. Where is America’s red, white and blue sandwich…I will be thinking?? πŸ™‚

Now, onto my version of this sandwich that is a little more kid friendly and easier to mass produce for a large family. Dinner time at our house lately has had to be simplified. My son has football practice six days a week (ugh!!) and so if I don’t have dinner planned and on the table by 5:00 we have one ornery, hungry boy and a family without their mother during prime-time dinner hours. So..to solve this problem I have grown to rely on my handy-dandy cooked chicken from my freezer. Chicken was on sale last week and so I grilled 10 lbs. of chicken and threw the other 15 lbs. in my slow cooker. Once the chicken was cooked I threw 3-4 chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and have them in the freezer for these busy summer nights. This sandwich came together in less than 10 minutes and was a HUGE hit with the whole family! It may not be as gourmet and pretty as the above Caprese sandwich but it will fill you up, is kid friendly, and easy to make. Here is my family-style Chicken Caprese Sandwich. Hope you are having a great summer!

Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
Ingredients
  1. 1 French bread loaf
  2. 3 large tomatoes, sliced
  3. 1/2 c. fresh basil, rinsed and leaves peeled
  4. 1/4 c. pesto (the Costco pesto is a MUST have in my freezer-just separate into small ziploc bags for meals like this one)
  5. Mayonnaise (about 1/4 c.)
  6. 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded into large chunks (I used my crock pot chicken, but grilled would also work)
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Cut the French bread loaf horizontally and spread a thick layer of mayonnaise on one half and pesto on the other. Spread the shredded chicken on to the bottom piece of bread. Lay the sliced tomatoes and basil on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and place the sandwich open face into an oven that has been set to broil at 500 degrees. Watch the sandwich carefully so that it does not burn. Once the cheese is golden brown, take the sandwich from the oven and place the top half of the bread on top of the bottom. Season the sandwich with salt and pepper as needed. Slice and serve.
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