Mozzar-ella..ella…ella…the tomato-basil-cheese version of Rihanna’s hit?

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I’ve come up with  little delicious alternative to the standard tomato-fresh mozzarella-basil panini or french baguette. Instead, I made mine avoiding the mealy, flavorless, less than worth the coin vine-ripe tomatoes for the always fresh in winter, juicy grape ones, cut up thin, lengthwise. What’s more, I used this delicious mozzarella made fresh in Bennington, Vt., which made all the difference to the mass-produced brands.

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Instead of the harshness of straight basil leaves in the sandwich, I rubbed the toast (yes, toast! honey toast! so delicious!) with the fresh basil leaves so they were “scented” of basil but didn’t drown out the taste of the salty tomatoes or mozzy. And for crunch, I included Boston lettuce–and I think it’s the lettuce that really changed this sandwich. It was crisp and cold and more filling that way, since lettuce is a nice filler. I finished the entire sandwich up with a balsamic-extra virgin olive oil drizzle, just spitting enough that it would require an umbrella, say. If I do declare myself, twas perfection.

How do you make fresh mozzy sandwiches? Any alternatives out there?

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