Loaded with roast chicken, olives, radishes, avocado, tomatoes and more, this open-faced toast is warmed with fresh mozzarella for a quick meal packed with flavor.
Admittedly, I am not someone who is much into cooking or seeking out recipes that can be made quickly. This is mostly because I find cooking therapeutic. I like to take my time in the kitchen and look for interesting recipes, alternative flavors, and new techniques. With that being said, since I have gotten my hands on my friend Emily’s new cookbook The Clever Cookbook, I have been really enjoying the ease of cooking quick recipes for my family. As I mentioned in here, her book is full of easy and quick recipes that are tailored towards home cooks with busy schedules. The more I cook from it the more I feel as though I have a new appreciation for meals that can be made quickly without sacrificing the flavor. And this Open-Face Chicken Caprese Sandwich is the first of many to come to your way.
The inspiration for this recipe came from a café in our neighborhood. It is mostly a bakery, but they do have a small menu with some really creative and delicious dishes. Dwight had ordered a slightly different version of this open-face sandwich and we both immediately thought that we should recreate this in our own kitchen. Don’t you love when that happens?
The one and important thing about this recipe is the bread. You want to make sure that your bread tastes really good. I recommend buying a large loaf from your local bakery. I bought mine as a whole, but next time I will have them slice it because it was a challenge to slice it in equal thickness by hand. Therefore, if you have the options have them slice it for you.
The recipe below is a spinoff of the classic Caprese salad we all love. I gave it my own twist and continued with the Mediterranean flavors by adding some olives into the recipe, mainly because I love the flavor and saltiness that they add into the dish. In addition, I added some ripened sliced avocados for creaminess and some thinly sliced radishes for some crunchiness. They not only freshen up the sandwich, but also give it a height that makes it look so appetizing. If you are vegetarian or do not have chicken on hand, feel free to omit it. It still tastes heavenly.
- 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
- 1 cup vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced thinly (colorful grape tomatoes would work as well)
- 3 stalks of scallions, chopped
- 10-12 Kalamata and green olives in oil, pitted and sliced thinly – olive oil reserved
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 slices of large whole wheat grain bread
- 2 tablespoons of vegenaise (or mayonnaise, whichever you have at home)
- ½ ripe avocado, sliced thinly
- 3 radishes, sliced thinly
- handful of basil leaves
- 6 slices of fresh mozzarella
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using paper towels, pat-dry chicken breasts. Rub each chicken breast with 1-tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes. Take it out of the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Do not turn the oven off.
- While the chicken is roasting in the oven, prep the quick Caprese salad: Place tomatoes, scallions, olives (with their oil), and lemon juice in a bowl. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- To assemble: Slice chicken into 1-inch thick slices. Place the slices of bread onto a cutting board. Spread each slice with 1-tablespoon vegenaise (or mayo). Divide the reserved salad by spreading it on each slice. Top them off with avocado and radish slices and basil leaves. Place 3 slices of mozzarella on each sandwich. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese on top is slightly melted.
- If preferred, sprinkle the sandwiches with red pepper flakes. Serve warm.