Refreshing basil leaves dress up this hot and hearty sandwich from our Test Kitchen. With a tangy olive spread, sweet peppers and mozzarella cheese, the hand-held meals are ideal for picnics or tailgating.
- 1 loaf (1 pound) unsliced Italian bread
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 8 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 4 large pieces roasted sweet red peppers, patted dry
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives
- Cut the top half off the loaf of bread; carefully hollow out top and bottom, leaving a 3/4-in. shell (save removed bread for another use).
- In a small bowl, combine lemon and 2 tablespoons oil. Spread over the cut side of bread top. Drizzle remaining oil inside bread bottom. Layer with the cheese, red pepper, basil and olives. Replace bread top. Wrap in foil.
- Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted. Slice before serving. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Basil Red Pepper Sandwiches in Simple & Delicious May/June 2006, p41
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