This is an Italian version of the popular club sandwich.  It calls for an Italian dressing made with garlic and basil.  Of course, if you prefer you can use mayonnaise or salad dressing. 

We made these sandwiches on our new California Sun Dried Tomato Bread since Melissa states that this is her favorite sandwich bread ever.

We love tomatoes but tomatoes can get kind of messy on a grilled sandwich.  By sprinkling salt on the tomato and sopping the moisture with a paper towel, much of the juice is removed and the sandwich does not get soggy.

For the Italian dressing:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoons crushed basil or 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 3 drops hot sauce

For the sandwich:

Ingredients

  • 1 small tomato
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 slices of bread, thickly sliced
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp lettuce
  • mozzarella cheese, very thinly sliced
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. To make the dressing, pulse the olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, basil, garlic, and hot sauce in the blender until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Slice the tomato, sprinkle with salt and place on a paper towel.  The salt will draw some of the moisture from the tomato.  After fifteen minutes, sop up the extra juice with another paper towel.  Sprinkle with pepper.
  3. Spread the dressing on two slices of bread.  Place a layer of cheese on one slice of bread over the dressing, then bacon, then tomato, and then lettuce.  Brush the outside of the sandwich with olive oil.
  4. Cook on the heated grill pan or griddle, cheese side down and topped with a panini press until crisp and golden.  If you are not using a panini press, turn the sandwich after one side is cooked.

Baker’s note:  The cheese is placed next to the bread so that it will melt easily while grilling.

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