This recipe is a riff on one that I enjoyed while travelling in Rome, Spiedini Alla Romana.  An appetizer made of the simplest ingridients, bread and fresh mozzarella.  Take one bite and you won’t be able to stop, it’s just that good.   You can make this recipe your own by substituting cheese varieties and other fillings.  Think brie and red pepper jelly or goat cheese and lemon zest.  You can make the exact same sauce and it will be just as delicious. One thing is for certain, once you make this addictive treat, it’ll be on high rotation for parties and pot lucks.

Serves 4-6

2 tsp olive oil, divided

8 slices sourdough bread, lightly toasted

2 tbsp pesto

250 gram round of fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4″ pieces

2 skewers

2 tbsp butter, divided

1 shallot, finely chopped

4 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)

1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes

2 tbsp whole capers

1/2 cup white wine

2 tbsp roughly chopped basil

Preheat oven to 375F

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil.

  2. Set 4 slices of the toasted bread on your work surface and top evenly with the pesto followed by the mozzarella slices. Top each with another slice of toasted bread. Stack all the sandwiches on top of one another so you have a nice tall sandwich tower.

  3. Use two wooden skewers to secure the sandwiches by inserting one into each half of the sandwich tower.

  4. Trim the crust off the two sides of your sandwich tower.  Cut the tower in half, directly between the two skewers.

  5. Lay each skewer, cut side down on the baking sheet and drizzle with remaining tsp of olive oil.

  6. Place in the oven and cook for 10-15 min or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

  7. Place a pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter. Once the butter is melted add the shallot, anchovies (if using) and hot pepper flakes and cook, for 5 min, stirring occasionally.

  8. Add the capers and white wine,  bring to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered, reducing the wine by at least half.

  9. Whisk in the second tbsp of butter, followed by the fresh basil.

  10. Remove sandwich skewers from the oven.  Carefully remove the skewers and place the sandwiches on a plate.

  11. Top with the pan sauce and serve immediatley.

Tip: If you are want a smaller sandwich size, simply use 4 skewers in step 3.  Insert them in each quarter of the sandwich stack and cut between each set of skewers. Proceed with the recipe knowing that the time in step 6 might be slightly less.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.