Life with a new baby means unpredictability. Summer often means a more relaxed cooking schedule for us because, who likes to turn the oven on during a heat wave, right? In summers past, we tended to barbecue a lot or bake up some crab cakes and potatoes or treat ourselves to our favorite take out more often, but this year we’ve been lax because we are getting used to life with Jude.
When Mom is visiting, we eat well. She’s made us fantastic meals like chicken marsala and risotto and pasta sauce, all delicious and way more complicated than I could have produced in those early, chaotic weeks.
Now that Jude is six weeks, I have some of the desire back to get in the kitchen come dinner time, but I’m having a difficult time coordinating my schedule/putting Jude down long enough to make a full dish. Last week, I got the newest issue of Cooking Light in the mail, and after paging through the recipes, I found a few that seemed great and easy.
On Saturday, Mike babysat while I went to the grocery store for the first time in weeks to stock up on our dwindling supply, and I decided to get some ingredients for two of the simpler meals. And last night, Mike and I worked together–in between a couple of baby crying fits–to put together the amazing Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches. The resulting dish was incredible. Not only was it the perfect light and fresh summer fare, but it was quick and super tasty. We loved it!
It wasn’t until halfway through my sandwich that I realized I’d forgotten to snap some photos of our work. The picture on the site is a pretty accurate representation of our final result, and trust me, it tastes just as good as it looks!
- 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 6 slices
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 (2-ounce) ciabatta rolls, split and toasted (Our grocery store didn’t have the ciabatta rolls, so I stopped at Panera and picked up a loaf of their wonderful french baguette. We didn’t end up toasting the bread.)
- 8 large fresh basil leaves (I am growing fresh basil outside, but the leaves aren’t what I would call “large”. To compensate, I picked extra to cover the sandwich. Be sure to get the fresh basil for this meal. It’s so worth it.)
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Place zucchini in a shallow dish. Add 2 teaspoons oil and garlic; toss to coat. Arrange zucchini in grill pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. (We don’t have a grill pan, so we used the George Foreman Grill, and it worked just fine.)
2. Cut each zucchini piece in half crosswise. Return zucchini to shallow dish. Drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
3. Brush bottom halves of rolls with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Top evenly with zucchini, basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
4. Brush cut side of roll tops with remaining liquid from shallow dish, and place on sandwiches. Heat the sandwiches in pan until warm.
Since I didn’t have a brilliant idea for a side dish, we had some chips. It wasn’t a fancy dinner, but we both enjoyed it quite a lot and agreed that we’d eat this over and over again. It might take a while for me to figure out the whole take care of infant/have time to shower, straighten house, write, shop AND cook, but if last night was any indication of future success, I’d say the slow uphill climb back to normal isn’t half bad at all.