In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients except the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Don’t over blend, it will heat the basil and it will turn black. If you want to make the pesto more of a spread add ¼ cup of cream cheese before you add the oil.
Once the mix is smooth, add the olive oil while the blender/processor is going. When all of the oil has been incorporated your pesto is ready.
If you choose, you can add ¼ cup of nuts when adding the oil. Pine nuts, walnuts and pistachios all work well, although pine nuts are the most traditional.
Note: this recipe makes more than you’ll need for the sandwiches. Freeze leftovers if not enjoying in another recipe within the next few days.
Building your Caprese
To assemble garlic aioli, mix garlic and mayonnaise together and set aside.
Spread a generous amount of pesto on one side each of 4 pieces of bread, making sure all the bread is covered. Cover the pesto with an even layer of tomato slices (you may have to cut some in half so it covers all the pesto), then top the tomato with slices of fresh mozzarella. Drizzle balsamic over cheese, and top with a slice of bread. Spread garlic aioli on the outside facing sides of the assembled sandwiches, so the entire bread is covered, then sprinkle with grated parmesan.
In a large skillet or flat top, melt butter or oil and cook sandwiches on medium low heat until cheese is melted. You will need a lid to cover the sandwiches and melt the cheese.
Enjoy with a glass of 2017 Mediterranean Vineyards Pinot Grigio or 2017 Rosso di Baci.