Words and Images by Alisha Sommer
We were sitting there at Barn Diva in Healdsburg, and I had the goat cheese croquettes with lavender honey. And then I had this burger. And when the server set it down in front of me and my eyes started tearing up because I’d never seen a tomato that red in my life.
Yes. I cried over a tomato – and I still cry at the beauty of the heirlooms I purchase at the local markets. Tomato season in our house is a favorite. It’s a side for almost every dinner, usually served sliced on a plate with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and a drizzle of really good olive oil. Even the kids gobble them up.
With baseball season still going, I’m looking for quick and easy meals that we can carry to the ballpark or eat quickly before piling into the car. I started to think about what I could make that would be tasty, light, yet satisfying – and that you could hold in your hand. Behold: a Caprese sandwich on roasted garlic focaccia.
Though you might be familiar with the health benefits of olive oil, you might not know that grapeseed oil is almost nine times richer in omega-6 fatty acids, an essential polyunsaturated your body needs to stay healthy. Grapeseed oil also contains twice as much Vitamin E as olive oil. Its high smoke point means that you retain more of those nutritional components of the oil when cooking, making it versatile for various cooking methods. Not to mention, its neutral flavor profile allows the flavors of your dish to stand out even more – Valentin is a chef, so he would know! I also love that grapeseed oil maintains its structure in the refrigerator, which means that your homemade dressing and vinaigrettes will not congeal when cold as olive oil-based dressings do.
New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion 9" Superbread
As a resident of Napa Valley, not only do I love the connection to the wine industry, but I love being able to support another local, family-owned business. Nanette and Valentin have been residents of Napa Valley for more than twenty years, and in that time, they’ve proven that you can not only create a healthy and tasty product but that you can do so in a sustainable way.
Pictured above, the Superbread knife resting on sliced focaccia.
What takes this seemingly simple sandwich up a notch? Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil. I brushed the top of the focaccia with the roasted garlic-infused Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil. Since I’m new to grapeseed oil, I chose to Salute Santé!’s recipe for a balsamic vinaigrette to drizzle over the tomatoes and mozzarella for a bit of zing.
Roasted Garlic Focaccia
To make the Salute Santé! Balsamic Vinaigrette
Shake all of the ingredients in a jar until combined. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks ready to eat.
About the Writer & Photographer
I'm Alisha Sommer, Bay Area Freelance Writer & Photographer. I have a gift for holding sacred space, for deep listening, and for seeing the ordinary in extraordinary ways.
Really, I’m just a storyteller.
Sommersalt is where I talk about my essentials for living: food, wine, and words. If you want to know how to work with me professionally (photos, writing, anything fun and creative), you can visit www.alishasommer.com.