Caprese Sandwich on Salute Santé! Roasted Garlic Focaccia

July 19, 2021

Caprese Sandwich on Salute Santé! Roasted Garlic Focaccia

Words and Images by Alisha Sommer

I'm known to get emotional about food. I often recount this story about eating a burger during my first visit to California:

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. 

Pictured above, Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil with unbaked focaccia.

European-trained gourmet chef Valentin Humer and his wife Nanette are the founders of Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil, the world’s only zero-waste, plant-based grapeseed oil manufacturer. They work with well-established wineries in Italy and the Napa Valley to source the grape seeds that are cold-pressed to craft high-quality, 100% grapeseed oil. After grapes are pressed to make wine, the grape seeds are set aside and dried, then pressed in a machine Valentin developed after many years of perfecting and refining the process. Valentin and Nanette are so committed to reducing their footprint that they now mill grapeseed flour from the leftover crushed seeds.

New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion 6" Deli

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. 

New West KnifeWorks Deli Knife in action
Pictured above, sliced heirloom tomatoes with NWKW Deli Knife.

Others like me who hold the tomato with reverence would be advised to look into the 6” deli—no more indenting the delicate flesh of your heirloom tomatoes while trying to make perfect slices. It also does cuts cleanly through the mozzarella. The most recent teary-eyed food moment was when I sliced into a fresh baguette with the Superbread and barely got a crumb on the cutting board. Dascia at New West Knife Work’s Saint Helena store expertly directed me to this knife is a must-have. She wasn’t wrong. The Superbread comes in handy, cutting through the focaccia and every other kind of loaf you can think of.  

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

Ingredients

Directions

  1. 1. Combine bread flour, kosher salt, and instant yeast in a bowl. Stir with a fork. Add water and combine until thoroughly mixed for several minutes. Cover the dough with a towel and set aside to rise for an hour or until it doubles in size.
  2. 2. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. 3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into the shape of a rectangle. Place dough onto a baking sheet. 
  4. 4. Gently press your fingers into the dough to make slight indentations. Brush the top of the dough with Salute Santé! Garlic Grapeseed Oil. 
  5. 5. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 
  6. 6. Cover the dough and allow to rise for another 15 minutes. 
  7. 7. Bake bread for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before serving. 

To make the Salute Santé! Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Directions:

Shake all of the ingredients in a jar until combined. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks ready to eat. 

Pictured above, Caprese Sandwich on Salute Santé! Roasted Garlic Focaccia.

To Assemble the Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 medium-sized Garden-fresh tomatoes, preferably heirloom varieties
  • 16 oz Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Fresh basil

Directions:

  • Cut the focaccia into small squares, then slice each square in half to make a sandwich. 
  • Layer a slice of tomato, mozzarella, a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, and two leaves of fresh basil. 
  • Repeat with remaining bread.

Featured Knives:

New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion 9" Superbread

 

New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion 6" Deli

About the Writer & Photographer

Hi.

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.





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