Open-Faced Caprese Sandwiches on Grilled Bread {Cooking for a Crowd-Part 2}

November 3rd, 2012  |  Family Dinner, Small Bites & Entertaining Grub  |  0 Comments

This was the second "main course" to my teachers luncheon.  When cooking for a crowd, its sometimes easiest to assemble food more than actually doing a lot of cooking.  These sandwiches were pretty easy to assemble with store-bought pesto, pre-sliced mozarella and delicious artisan bread {all available inexpensively at Costco}.  What really set these beauties apart was grilling the bread before assembly.  Grilled bread might be one of the most amazing things that has ever come out of my kitchen... I LOVE a little burnt char on my bread and it sends anything you put on it over the top!

Serving the sandwiches open-faced not only allowed the bread to be stretched a little further, but made for a gorgeous presentation with the addition of brightly-hued organic heirloom tomatoes.

I was preparing for 30 people, but this recipe can be easily adjusted for however many people you have, even if its just a light lunch for two.


15 torta rolls {or any other Artisan type roll you like}
olive oil cooking spray
2 cloves garlic
4 lbs pre-sliced mozzarella cheese
1 container store-bought pesto
7 lbs heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors, stems removed and sliced {you can mix heirlooms with roma tomatoes if you are really watching your budget}
1 cup basil leaves, rolled and sliced thin into a chiffonade
high quality extra-virgin olive oil {I used a lemon-scented variety}
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat a gas grill over high heat {or heat a cast iron grill pan on your stovetop over high heat}.

Slice the tortas in half and spray each cut side with a light coat of olive oil cooking spray.  Lay each cut side down onto the hot grill and allow each piece to toast.  Watch the bread carefully as it can burn quickly.  If desired, you can flip the bread over and grill the other side.

Lightly rub each toasted piece of bread with a garlic clove, then smear one tablespoon of pesto onto each piece of bread.

Top each slice with one or two slices of mozarella and then top with two tomato slices {different colors makes the presentation pop}.

Sprinkle the basil chiffonade over the sandwiches, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

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