Caprese Casserole

August 16, 2016

Harvest from the garden and create this rich, savory meal. Toasted slices of seasoned bread make the base of this tomato and cheese casserole. Finished with Balsamic vinegar and fresh basil to make a perfectly seasoned main dish. It's divine. 

I make this gluten free by using my favorite GF baguette with great results. This is a must have recipe from QVC  "Resident Foodie," David Venable.

 

Caprese Casserole 
(Serves 8)
 
Ingredients:
 
Base Layer:
1 French baguette
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
6 large tomatoes, any color, sliced
1 lb ball fresh mozzarella, sliced in half and then cut into 1/4" slices
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pesto
 
Topping:
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2–3 Tbsp Balsamic syrup
 
Preparation:
 
To prepare the base layer, start by preheating the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick food spray.
 
Slice the baguette into rounds, then place them in a mixing bowl. Toss the rounds with the garlic, Parmesan, oil, salt, and pepper. Lay the rounds out on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until toasted and crispy.
Shingle the toasted slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Starting at one end of the dish, make a row of tomato slices. Alternate rows of mozzarella and tomato until the baking dish is filled from one end to the other. Using a spoon, drizzle the olive oil, then the pesto, back and forth over the entire casserole.
 
To prepare the topping, place the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, garlic, basil, and oil into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Sprinkle this topping evenly on top of the prepared casserole. Season with the salt and pepper. Place the entire baking dish in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and the topping has browned slightly.
 
Remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic syrup. Serve warm.
 

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