the thing about new york is - if you have an idea, so do at least a million others. case in point is today, the fourth of july, or when everyone and their mother wants to head down to watch the fireworks near the brooklyn bridge. when i think of last year's crowds, the packed subway lines, the claustrophobia - once was probably enough. maybe next year?
so, i'm laying low tonight. quiet. jasper's asleep on the kitchen floor. i came home from a long (but very productive) day of restaurant cooking with dreams of the meltiest pizza. margherita-style with fresh mozzarella cheese and fragrant basil, crushed slightly and green. firm, bursting tomatoes. the lightest drizzle of tangy, acidic, complex balsamic reduction.
but oh, i don't have pizza dough. and i'm starving now and have no time to make it. problem? not at all! this translates perfectly to a sandwich. grab yourself a few slices of a hard-crusted bakery bread and you're in business with a panini-style take on this classic flavor combination.
2 slices hard-crusted bakery bread
3-4 leaves of basil
1 tomato, sliced
2 slices fresh mozzarella
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp mayo
heat a grill pan over high heat. assemble the sandwich - mix mayo with balsamic and spread. layer with tomato, mozzarella, and basil. put sandwich on grill pan and cover with another pot filled with cans (or, in my case, a whetstone) to press sandwich down. let cook for 3-4 minutes or until dark grill marks develop. flip. grill until dark on the other side and cheese is melted.