Caprese Casserole
[1] Caprese Casserole (photo courtesy QVC).

Balsamic Chicken Caprese
[2] Another Caprese main course option: Balsamic Chicken Caprese. Here’s the recipe from Cafe Delites.

Caprese Salad
[3] Classic Caprese with red and yellow heirloom tomatoes (photo courtesy Balducci’s).

Artistic Caprese Salad
[4] Artistic Caprese arrangement (photo courtesy Great Performances | Facebook).

 

Caprese Salad—tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, with an olive oil dressing—has become a mainstay on U.S. menus (here’s the history of Caprese Salad).

In the summer, when ripe tomatoes are picked from the vine, it’s high season for Caprese.

Each summer we publish a different take on the salad (see below). This year, it’s a variation we hadn’t thought of before: a baked Caprese Casserole.

The recipe is from QVC’s “resident foodie” and best-selling cookbook author, David Venable. The casserole shines when made with succulent summer tomatoes; and also works with off-season tomatoes (cooking tomatoes brings out some sweetness that may not be in the raw tomatoes).
 
RECIPE: CAPRESE CASSEROLE

Ingredients For 8 Servings
 
For The Base Layer

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 large tomatoes, any color, sliced
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella (2 eight-ounce balls), sliced in half and then cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  •  
    For The Topping

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2–3 tablespoons balsamic glaze
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the base layer. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with nonstick food spray.

    2. SLICE the baguette into rounds and place them in a mixing bowl. Toss the rounds with the garlic, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay the rounds on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until toasted and crispy, about 20 minutes (15 minutes if you raise the temperature to 400°F).

    3. SHINGLE (overlap) the toasted slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Starting at one end of the dish, make a row of tomato slices. Alternate rows of mozzarella and tomato until the baking dish is filled from one end to the other. Using a spoon, drizzle the olive oil, then the pesto, back and forth over the entire casserole.

    4. PREPARE the topping. Place the parmesan, bread crumbs, garlic, basil and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Sprinkle the topping evenly on top of the prepared casserole. Season with the salt and pepper.

    5. PLACE the baking dish in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and the topping has browned slightly.
     
    12 CAPRESE SALAD RECIPES

  • Artistic Caprese Salads
  • Caprese Pasta Salad
  • Caprese Sandwich
  • Deconstructed Caprese Salad
  • Goat Cheese Caprese Salad
  • Mango Caprese Salad
  • “Martini” Caprese Salad
  • Mixed Heirloom Caprese Salad
  • Plum Caprese Salad
  • Summer Caprese Salad With Flowers
  • Tofu Caprese Salad
  • Watermelon Caprese Salad
  •  

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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