Here's the thing with cooking: I don't mind it but I'm by no means an expert.
I'm not one of those people that looks at random ingredients and knows which flavors will go with what or takes a bite of something and can say, "Oh, this just needs a touch of..."
No, that's not me. I'm someone who finds what I like and I stick to it. I'll possibly alter the cooking process a tiny bit if I think that I just might have an idea or something to add, but 95% of the time I keep things rather simple.
And that's just how I like it.
Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to participate in the Black & Decker Ultimate Sandwich Recipe Contest, I knew I wasn't going to be reinventing the wheel. My favorite sandwich is one that a million other people have had before and can be found in any number of restaurants.
But, being able to make it right at home quickly and easily by popping it in and out of a Black & Decker convection countertop toaster oven and ending up with a mouthwatering, completely customizable result?
Oh yes, that I can do.
Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Sandwich
Ingredients per sandwich
Two slices of your favorite bread - I prefer sourdough but a Ciabatta roll or Foccacia would also be amazing
1 Ripe tomato
1 Fresh mozzarella ball
2 T Chopped basil
2 T Pesto (homemade is always yummy but store bought is completely fine, too)
Balsamic vinegar to taste
Preheat toaster oven to 350° using the Toast setting.
Cut two slices of bread, not too thick so that it will overpower the rest of the sandwich but not too thin that it will fall apart. Place in preheated oven for 2 - 3 minutes depending on how toasted you like it.
Spread each slice with pesto. I'm a big fan, so I go fairly generously on the pesto, but if you're not, just put as much as you prefer so that you still get enough of the flavor.
Layer two slices of tomato and two pieces of fresh mozzarella on top of the pesto.
Place back in the toaster oven, this time on the Broil setting, for 4 - 5 minutes to heat the tomatoes and get the cheese a little warm and toasty. If you'd rather enjoy the raw flavors, which are delicious, just skip this step.
After removing, top with chopped basil and as much balsamic vinegar as you would like. I love a good drizzle on each side for that sweet kick. Alternatively, you could leave the balsamic vinegar off and dip your sandwich into it instead.
Assemble and enjoy!
Completely simple but extremely tasty and satisfying. I love each toasty bite that combines the pesto, mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinegar and bread and I find myself feeling full and satisfied but yet still excited to eat this again and again.
Like avocado? Add in a few slices at the end. Maybe you're more adventurous than I am and want to add in red pepper flakes or olive oil. Do it! Not a vegetarian? Throw in some Prosciutto or grilled chicken if you'd like. No matter how you customize this classic sandwich to be your own, the result is always the same:
This post was written for Family Review Network & Black & Decker who provided the complimentary product for participation in this contest.