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updated: 1/31/2011 6:27 PM

Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches

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8 slices French or sourdough bread

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter, at room temperature

¾ pound whole fresh mozzarella, sliced in ¼-inch-thick rounds

2 red bell peppers, roasted and sliced


1 cup fresh arugula or basil leaves

Brush 1 side of each bread slice with olive oil or slather with butter. Place 4 pieces of bread on a work surface oiled side down. Top each with a layer of mozzarella, a layer of roasted pepper, a pinch of salt and a few leaves of arugula or basil. Place the other pieces of bread on top.

Heat a large skillet or a panini press and cook the sandwiches until cheese is softened and bread is lightly toasted on both sides, about 4 minutes.

Serves four.

"Soup + Sides" by Catherine Walthers (2010 Lake Isle Press)