THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website,

Archive for October 5, 2012

TIP OF THE DAY: Caprese Sandwich

Caprese sandwich, a.k.a. Caprese salad
sandwich. Photo courtesy Hubbard Inn.


Our Seasonal Affective Disorder* kicked in last Saturday—and daylight savings time doesn’t end until November 4th!

But it’s not the diminishing daylight that has us bummed. It’s the end of summer tomato season. Those beautiful heirloom tomatoes, a high point of our culinary week, are gone.

Every Saturday, we’d hit the farmers market, bring home a few pounds of assorted heirlooms, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella, and mix and match the tomatoes in a series of Caprese salads.

As a transition to fall fare, we’ve switched to a Caprese Sandwich, such as this one from Chicago’s Hubbard Inn.


Now, cherry tomatoes substitute for thick slices of summer tomatoes. The classic green in a Caprese salad is fresh basil, but the Hubbard Inn substitutes arugula (most Americans don’t like a basil salad). We do a 75:25 blend of arugula and basil.

And Hubbard Inn customers like meat on their sandwich: The inn adds prosciuto de Parma (also called Parma ham).


  • Baby arugula, cleaned
  • Basil chiffonade†
  • Mozzarella or smoked mozzarella cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes or substitute (see below)
  • Italian bread: ciabatta, focaccia or other favorite
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • Optional: proscuitto di Parma

    1. Slice mozzarella, halve cherry tomatoes.

    2. Sprinkle bottom bread slice with oil and vinegar.

    3. Layer with ham, mozzarella, arugula, basil and tomatoes/tomato substitute (see below).

    For variety, try a Caprese Pasta Salad.

    Local summer tomatoes are a joy; they’re even more precious because the season is so sort. When regular tomatoes are not at their prime, here’s what we subsitute in salads and on sandwiches:

  • Cherry tomatoes or grape/pear tomatoes
  • Sundried tomatoes: freshly dried (still soft and tender), soaked in oil or puréed
  • Red bell pepper, diced or rings: blanched, raw or pickled (easy pickled vegetable recipe)
  • Roasted red peppers (pimentos—we buy them by the jar)
    Let us know your favorite variations on this idea.
    *Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. It is attributed to less sunshine and long winter nights.

    †Cut into long, thin strips.

    Comments off

    FOOD FILM: Butter, The Movie

    Got plans this weekend?

    How about Butter? The latest film from The Weinstein Company opens today in the United States and Canada.

    When we were first invited to a screening of the film, we knew nothing about it except the cast. We thought it would be related to food, hence the invitation.

    Well, it’s not about butter, the food. It’s about butter, the sculptural medium.

    If you’ve never seen butter sculpture competitions at state or county fairs, you’ll be wowed by the art showcased in the film. Some of it’s tongue in cheek, but all of it made us say “Wow!”

    We’re not going to provide a proper film review: We’re food reviewers, not film reviewers.

    But in one sentence: We thought the film was quite the tasty spread. We’d see it again.


    Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company.


    The cast, given fun characters to chew on, includes the boldface names in the movie poster (above) and a preturnaturally wise child, Yara Shahidi. Kristen Schaal also deserves a shout-out.

    If the film inspires you to learn the history of butter, the different types of butter, butter storage tips or the how to bake with butter, we’ve got it covered.

    And check out our compiled list of real “food films.”


    Comments off

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: A Gourmet Halloween Candy Gift

    Bites of heaven: painted chocolate shells
    filled with pumpkin-spiced chocolate
    ganache. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE


    Halloween candy means different things to different people. To us, it means tasting the wares of our favorite artisan chocolatiers, to see what magical seasonal accents they’ve created.

    If you’re looking for the finest chocolates for Halloween, you can’t do better than John & Kira’s, a former NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week as well as this week’s pick.

    The chocolatier’s signature silky ganaches in 62% cacao Valrhona shells are just right for a gourmet chocolate Halloween.

    It’s difficult to choose among Apple Spice, Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Pumpkin bonbons; so if the budget allows, get them all!

    Check out the full review, along with this week’s recipe and cooking video.



    Comments off

    © Copyright 2005-2017 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.