Caprese Garlic Bread

Alright I get it, I get it. Caprese is extremely trendy in the food world and apparently you can have anything caprese, ranging from chicken to pasta to salad and now even caprese bread.

Until a few years ago I had no idea what caprese even was and I'm still not sure I really know how to pronounce it. (It turns out I didn't.)
Of course it intrigued me, but like I've said before, I've never been much of a tomato fan. And basil? How can that be good plain?

But here I am, years later, eating my words, and telling everyone how delicious this CAPRESE bread is. I'm already a HUGE garlic bread fan so using it as a vehicle to savor other amazing flavors in one bite is pure genius.
I'm telling you, you will love this. And tomatoes are perfectly delicious right now.

Did I really just say that? Who am I??

Caprese Garlic Bread
1 loaf French bread, horizontally cut in half
4 Tbsp. salted butter, at room temperature
3 tsp. garlic, minced
12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
(or shredded works fine)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place both sides of the bread on a large baking sheet with the cut side up.
2. In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic and spread evenly on bread halves. Place the mozzarella cheese slices on top of the bread, making sure the cheese covers the bread completely. Place tomato slices over the top of the cheese.
3. Bake bread for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
4. While the bread is in the oven, make the balsamic reduction. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar to a boil, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by about half. This should only take about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
4. Remove the bread from oven. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Cut into slices and serve.


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