Grilled mozzarella and pecorino with tomato and basil sandwich

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IngredientsGrilled mozzarella and pecorino with tomato and basil sandwich

  • 4 teaspoons salted butter at room temperature
  • 8 slices (1/4 inch thick) Italian country bread
  • 6 ounces mozzarella, coarsely grated or chopped to yield about 2 cups
  • 2 ounces finely grated aged Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano to yield about ½ cup.
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves torn or sliced
  • 1 to 2 medium plum tomatoes (about ½ pound total), sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest


  1. Butter all the bread slices on one side only.
  2. Put buttered side down on a cutting board.  Distribute the mozzarella over the bread and follow with the Pecorino or Parmigiana (about 2 tablespoons per sandwich).
  3. Top with the basil, the tomato slices and a sprinkling of salt, and the lemon zest.
  4. Put the remaining bread buttered side up on top.
  5. Heat a large nonstick pan or griddle over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Put as many sandwiches as will fit in the pan or on the griddle without crowding, cover and cook until the cheese has just begun to melt and the bread is golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and turn the sandwiches pressing each one firmly with a spatula to flatten it slightly.
  8. Cook (uncovered) until the bottom is golden brown, about 1 minute.
  9. Turn them once more and press with the spatula again to re-crisp the bread, about 30 seconds.
  10. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
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