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.
Recommended: 50 Christmas Lunch Ideas
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 loaf (1 pound) unsliced Italian bread
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
- 4 large pieces roasted sweet red pepper, 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 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