Simple yet satisfying snacks can be a pleasure to prepare and enjoy, and this recipe for caprese garlic toast is one of my brand new favorites that’s filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients!
Caprese Garlic Toast, My Perfect Seasonal Snack
Often times when the early evening comes and I begin to get that nagging, hungry feeling in the pit of my belly but don't want anything too big or too involved, that is the time I like to put my creative thinking cap on.
I'll open up my fridge and do a quick assessment of what's inside—look to see what kind of produce I have, rummage through my deli drawer—to see what tasty light and easy meal I can come up with.
But here's my personal little requirement: this meal must be prepared with a minimal amount of effort, yet still be brimming with lots of flavor and be thoroughly satisfying.
There are many times when I toast up a simple slice or two of rustic sourdough bread, then rub a little garlic over it, and spread a bit of butter or schmear over it as well. Then, I top the toast(s) with a few slices of fresh, juicy tomato, a liberal sprinkle of good sea salt, and call it a meal!
And I find myself in flavor heaven with that particular combination of garlic and tomatoes—one of my absolute favorites—especially during a time of year when tomatoes are at their juiciest and most delicious.
But I recently discovered a tasty new twist to my usual toasts in this caprese garlic toast, my brand new favorite light meal.
This is my idea of the perfect seasonal snack (or dinner, in my case!) that is juicy, savory, fresh, and incredibly flavorful. But best of all? It’s such a breeze to make!
Caprese Salad, My Inspiration for Caprese Garlic Toast
Lately I've been keeping one of those little boules of whole-milk mozzarella cheese on hand. I've also been well-stocked with fresh basil used in recent recipes like this grilled chicken and this pasta salad.
Tomatoes are something that I pretty much always have available.
So the first thing that came to mind when I opened the fridge and saw all those beautiful ingredients was, "Caprese Salad! Yes!! And then, I remembered the sliced sourdough I had in my freezer, ready and begging to be toasted up to golden perfection! It would be a match made in heaven!
And that's when my recipe muse suggested I whip up a little hybrid version of my beloved garlic-rubbed toasts.
Perfectly thin slices of the mozzarella cheese laid over top of the garlic toast, then be placed under the broiler for a couple of minutes, and then topped with slices of fresh tomato and vibrant basil leaves filled the kitchen with intoxicatingly delicious fragrances...
Behold, a caprese salad elevated to a broiled cheese—on garlic-rubbed toast! Absolutely divine!
And these caprese garlic toasts can also be turned into cute little appetizers or hors d'oeuvres by simply slicing them on the diagonal, placing them on a rustic platter, and passing them around!
So next time you get that nagging, hungry feeling in your belly but don't want to prepare anything too involved, treat yourself to this scrumptious caprese garlic toast made with a few fresh, seasonal ingredients, and you'll definitely understand what I'm raving about!
Tips & Tidbits for Caprese Garlic Toast:
- Fresh tomatoes of your choice: Heirloom tomatoes are delicious (and pretty!) on these toasts, but you can also use ripe beefsteaks, or any other firm, larger tomatoes.
- Rustic, sliced bread: I love sliced sourdough bread (I get mine from Trader Joes), but you can use whatever variety you prefer. Just make sure it is sturdy enough to rub the garlic cloves over top once toasted, so that it won't tear.
- Whole milk mozzarella for good meltability: I find that whole-milk or fresh mozzarella works perfectly for these. It produces a really great “melt”.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Use peeled, fresh garlic cloves for these toasts, as they are easy to rub over top, and to control how much garlic you're getting. They're so nice and flavorful too!
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Caprese Garlic Toast
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 4 toasts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
• 4 slices sourdough bread, or your choice of sturdy, rustic bread
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled and tips cut off
• 8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, sliced thinly into about 8 slices (2 per toast)
• 8 slices of tomato (from about 2 large tomatoes)
• Black pepper
• 1 (2 ounce) package fresh basil (leaves can be left whole, torn, or sliced thinly)
-Prepare a baking sheet with foil, and turn your oven on to “broil” (you can also use a larger countertop toaster oven for this, as well).
-Place the slices of bread onto the baking sheet, and brush each with a little of the olive oil; broil or toast for a couple of minutes just until golden-brown.
-Remove from oven and rub each toast all over with about half a clove of garlic; then, top each slice of bread with two slices of the mozzarella, and place back under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the mozzarella is melted; remove from oven.
-To finish, top with about 2-3 tomato slices, a couple of pinches of salt and pepper (perhaps even some red pepper flakes!), and a sprinkle fresh basil leaves, and enjoy!