Arugula, Mozzarella, Tomato on Focaccia

“You don’t have enough sandwiches on your blog,” my father declared a few days ago. “Wadaya mean I don’t have enough sandwiches? I’ve got plenty of sandwiches,” said I. Dad proceeded to rattle off a list of sandwiches he likes that he couldn’t find on the site, ending with, “and you don’t even have the arugula focaccia sandwich!” as if given how much arugula we grow around here the very omission was a sin of the highest order. “Can’t do anything about that dad, arugula is out of season.” A little while later my father went out and returned with some freshly baked focaccia bread, tomatoes, mozzarella, and a bunch of arugula he foraged from Whole Foods. The pain of spending $2.50 on a handful of arugula that grows like weeds half the year in our garden was not lost on him, or me for that matter. “Oh, the sacrifices I make for your site,” he joked, adding, “Tell your readers they can substitute watercress if they can’t find arugula.” And there you have it.

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Arugula, Mozzarella, Tomato on Focaccia Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups packed trimmed arugula, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped coarse
  • Focaccia bread, halved horizontally (enough for 4 sandwiches)
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, sliced thin (fresh is best)
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise (optional)

Method

arugula-cheese-sandwich-1.jpg

1 In a large bowl or baking dish combine tomatoes, onion, and vinegar and season with pepper and salt. Marinate 30 minutes.

arugula-cheese-sandwich-2.jpg
2 Layer mozzarella, tomatoes, onions and arugula on the focaccia half. Spread some mayonnaise on the top half of the focaccia if desired. Press top half over the bottom, hold together with a couple of tooth picks.

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Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet magazine.

26 Comments

  1. trishinomaha

    Elise – This looks soooo yummy! I may be serving this for a nice light supper this week…btw – is that your dad? What a good looking guy! Have a great day and keep these wonderful recipes coming! Trish in Omaha

  2. John

    Elise can you grow arugula in a pot??? I don’t have a yard, I grow some herbs in the pot and would love to grow arugula if it will survive. I know it’s so expensive everytime I bought it at Wholefoods.

  3. ethan

    Looks nice, I’d use aioli instead of mayo.

  4. beastmomma

    Thanks to your dad for getting the arugula, so that we can enjoy this recipe. Very tasty indeed.

  5. Michelle

    John: Yes, any veggie or herb can be grown in a pot. Be careful of your fertilizing & watering (check a garden book on containers, or ‘square-foot-gardening’). My Mom used to grow tomatoes in the house (use a small art brush to polinate the flowers), and we’d have hot-house tomatoes in winter!

  6. Janet

    Your Dad sounds like a hoot, and that sandwich looks delicious! Thanks for sharing :-)

  7. Jessica

    I Love arugula and can not believe how many people have never heard of it. Needless to say I was ecstatic when I saw this recipe. Thank you!

  8. Sunny

    Mmm that looks delicious (and pretty easy to make, too)! Thanks!

  9. Dennis

    Mayonnaise!!!! Its gotta be a nice drizzle of olive oil…..

  10. Elise

    Hi Trishinomaha – keep saying how handsome my dad is and he’ll keep cooking forever! He loves reading comments like that. ;-)

    Ethan and Dennis – aioli would work, some really good olive oil too

    Regarding growing arugula in a pot. Never tried. We can’t get rid of the stuff. We ignored our patch for years and it reseeded itself over the entire garden. It is a very hardy plant, I would say, go for it.

  11. Madeline

    I am so jealous you have a Whole Foods near you! That place is dangerously good.

  12. Marty

    Delicious. Reminds me of my mom’s “dinner sandwich” for those hot summer days, although she would use water and balsalmic vinegar to marinate.

    Actually, as kids my grandma made us something similar for breakfasts before we walked off to school– often eaten while walking to school (but she hated it when we did that). The difference there was that the bread was (homemade) toasted whole wheat, buttered (so no mayo), and a fried egg replaced the lettuce. The egg was what we called “over hard,” meaning the yolk was fully cooked (solid); I don’t know if “over hard” is a term anyone other than grandma and mom ever used. I hate to think of the cholesterol content of that, but it was wonderful.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories. Got to make this for my wife and kids tonight, especially since it will be 100 degrees today.

  13. Luke

    That sandwhich looks great! I have had a lot of luck with growing Arugula in my window. I just put a post on an easy to make focaccia recipe. It is really easy to make and given the difference fresh bread makes in a sandwhich, definitely worth the effort!

  14. Annette

    I tried the recipe with oil packed sundried tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes. I’m still drooling over how good it was!!

  15. Asatira

    This recipe looks so good. I have copied it and put it in my recipe book. I am a vegetarian and this recipe is perfect for my family!

  16. Ed

    Made this tonight along with your oven fried chips and spinach. I substituted the spinach for the arugula. Please thank your Dad for me… it was excellent!!

  17. Charmaine

    We made this for a pot luck but used olive oil instead of mayo. Half the sandwiches were made with smoked mozzarella. It was easy, yummy, and a hit. We’ll be making these again for our selves. Thanks so much for such a great simply recipe.

  18. Lisa

    Most excellent!!

    My daughter just started working at Panera Breads and is now bringing home all kinds of breads and pastries. I hated to let the Focaccia go to waste (instead it went to waist!) so I searched on line for recipes and found this one.

    The grocery store didn’t have Argula all by itself, so I used organic baby greens. I also used Caponata (an italian eggplant dip/spread) instead of the mayonnaise…just because I saw it in the store and it looked yummy. My husband adored this recipe, and so did I. I really like the idea of Dinner Sandwiches, Madeline. I may steal that idea. Elise, I am now going to go searching for more of your recipes!

    Thank you!

  19. Trudi

    I love these sandwiches. Try putting some basil pesto with the mozzarella, really yummy.

  20. Maire

    Okay, so I’m a vegetarian and I love experimenting with different foods and this looks perfect! The photo makes my mouth water and my stomach growl in agony waiting to be fed this.

  21. Cathy

    I loved the story! Sounds like you have a wonderful father & a great relationship with him! Thanks “dad” for going out and getting the arugula! Can’t wait to try this recipe! ;)

  22. Jules

    I made this last week for dinner. My husband and I enjoyed the sandwiches so much, we had it again the following night for dinner.

  23. Cheryl

    Is there another alternative to arugula? I live on the equator in South East Asia and we don’t have access to this kind of produce (which bugs me to bits).

    Try fresh spinach, or some fresh lettuce-like green that you can eat raw that is slightly peppery or bitter. Nasturtium leaves would work too, if you grow those flowers there. ~Elise

  24. Krystle

    This was THE BEST sandwich I’ve had in a long time! Easy, simple, and fresh! I loaded on the mayo and felt great about it. ;) Thanks!

  25. Irene

    Nice recipe! I better love to make sandwiches.. I’m curious, could we make the Mozzarella with a manual way, without buying them from the store?

    Hi Irene, Mozzarella is traditionally made from the milk of water buffalo. (See Wikipedia on mozzarella.) I don’t know anyone who makes it at home, but if you are interested in cheese making, I’m sure you can find some good books on the subject. ~Elise

  26. Shannon @ RecipesMe

    First, I just wanted to tell you I love your site. Second this is one of my favorite sandwiches, mmmm!!!!

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