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Caprese French Bread Pizza

Bursting-with-flavor Caprese French Bread Pizza is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction!

Caprese French Bread Pizza ~ this bursting-with-flavor recipe is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction! | FiveHeartHome.com

Happy August, y’all! How is school already right around the corner? Eeek! I intended to share this recipe earlier in the week but — speaking of that impending school start date — we decided to squeeze in one last summer hurrah with a quick trip to our favorite hill country resort, where we spent a few days playing in the pool and and eating s’mores and willing August to stretch out just a liiiiittle bit longer. Alas, when I encountered some technical difficulties attempting to publish my post from vacation land, I ultimately gave up and decided to push it back to today. Sorry ’bout that…but I can assure you that this Caprese French Bread Pizza is well worth the wait!

Caprese French Bread Pizza ~ this bursting-with-flavor recipe is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction! | FiveHeartHome.com

I suppose it’s obvious that I’m a tad obsessed with all things caprese, seeing as how this is my second such recipe in less than a month. But how could anyone not love the combo of fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil? Fresh, fresh, fresh! And this caprese recipe is even better, because…hellooo? PIZZA! French bread pizza, to be exact, which means the fresh ingredients get further enhanced by a healthy dose of carbs. And garlic. And balsamic vinegar. But we’ll get to those deets momentarily…

Caprese French Bread Pizza ~ this bursting-with-flavor recipe is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction! | FiveHeartHome.com

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Put a small pot of balsamic vinegar on the stove so that it can gently simmer and reduce. While it’s working, take a loaf of French bread and slice it lengthwise to create a top and bottom half. Then whip up the garlic-infused olive oil — inspired by the dipping oil you may find at your favorite Italian restaurant — which simply involves pressing a few cloves of fresh garlic into some extra-virgin olive oil and seasoning with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Brush this flavored olive oil on the cut sides of both bread halves so that it soaks down and fills the crevices with glorious garlic goodness.

Caprese French Bread Pizza ~ this bursting-with-flavor recipe is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction! | FiveHeartHome.com

Now comes the cheese. Cover the garlicky French bread halves with slices of fresh mozzarella, and then top that mozzarella with a couple of thinly-sliced, ripe, red tomatoes (cue those homegrown beauties if you have ’em). Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then pop your pizzas in the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown around the edges and the tomatoes have turned soft and sweet.

Caprese French Bread Pizza ~ this bursting-with-flavor recipe is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction! | FiveHeartHome.com

As soon as your Caprese French Bread Pizza comes out of the oven, top with a shower of fresh basil ribbons and drizzle with that syrupy balsamic reduction. Slice and enjoy immediately! Because enjoy you will…the combo of garlic bread, melty cheese, caramelized tomatoes, bright basil, and sticky-sweet balsamic vinegar is OUT OF THIS WORLD AMAZING.

Caprese French Bread Pizza ~ this bursting-with-flavor recipe is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction! | FiveHeartHome.com

Yup, it totally justifies a second caprese recipe this summer…and I totally know what I’m making on our next Still-Celebrating-Summer-Cuz-School-Can-Wait-A-Bit-Longer Pizza Night. You? 😉
Caprese French Bread Pizza ~ this bursting-with-flavor recipe is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction! | FiveHeartHome.com

Caprese French Bread Pizza

Yield: 4 servings

Caprese French Bread Pizza

Bursting-with-flavor Caprese French Bread Pizza is brushed with garlic-infused olive oil, layered with fresh mozzarella and thinly-sliced tomatoes, and baked until bubbly before getting finished off with ribbons of basil and a balsamic reduction!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large loaf French bread (soft, not a baguette)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16-ounce log fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch basil (such as from a 2/3-ounce package), washed, dried, & sliced in a chiffonade

Instructions

  1. Make the balsamic reduction by pouring the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring the vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the vinegar has thickened and reduced by half (it should coat a spoon). Watch carefully as it can burn very quickly. Once the balsamic vinegar reduction is done, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Place rack in center position of oven and preheat to 400°F. Slice French bread in half lengthwise (so that there's a top half and a bottom half). Place pieces cut-side-up on a baking sheet (if the top half is too rounded, you may slice off a thin piece so that it sits flat). All topping ingredients will be evenly divided between the two halves of the loaf.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the pressed garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and olive oil and stir to combine. Brush the oil mixture on the cut surface of each bread half, using a spoon to make sure all of the little pieces of garlic are evenly distributed. Evenly cover the bread halves with mozzarella slices and then tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt (I like using kosher salt here) and pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown around the edges and the pizza is heated through. Sprinkle with ribbons of basil. Slice into wedges and serve hot.

Notes

You will probably have leftover balsamic reduction after you eat your pizza. Drizzle it over berries, peaches, steak, bread...it's good on so many things!

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More tomato goodness…

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Corn, Tomato, & Avocado Salad ~ an explosion of Tex-Mex flavors and summertime textures, with fresh roasted corn, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, minced jalapeño, crumbled cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro in a zippy lime vinaigrette! | FiveHeartHome.com

30-Minute Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce
30-Minute Homemade Marinara ~ quick, flavorful sauce made with ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic and a touch of balsamic vinegar | FiveHeartHome.com

Tomato, Cucumber, Poppy Seed Salad
Tomato Cucumber Poppyseed Salad ~ juicy tomatoes and crisp cucumbers are tossed with a sweet and tangy dressing for a fresh and healthy summertime side dish recipe! | FiveHeartHome.com

Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes
Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes ~ garden-fresh tomatoes are drizzled with garlic, balsamic vinegar, and seasonings then roasted until caramelized | FiveHeartHome.com

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And see all of our PRINTABLES <<< here!

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Comments

  1. Last minute vacations are the best! Sounds like fun 🙂

    I’ve been wanting to make a naan/flatbread/French bread pizza, but haven’t had a chance. I have to fix that ASAP ’cause this is so gorgeous!

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