Updated: Aug 10, 2021
What is Vegan Caprese?
Caprese is generally just a very simple Italian salad. But the most important part of any Caprese dish is that the ingredients are fresh! This recipe combines all the great elements of a Caprese sandwich and makes it vegan.
Italian cuisine is often quite simple but really packs a punch of flavor. Italian cuisine uses all my favorite ingredients tomatoes, garlic, onion, and cheese (vegan of course). Traditionally Caprese is made with mozzarella cheese, but there is no need for mozzarella when you can make delicious macadamia mozzarella.
For vegan Italian dishes, this one really is incredibly simple but really hits the spot. I cannot express how much flavor the pesto and macadamia bring to this sandwich. It's a little bit of work but it's all worth it in the end.
What goes in the Vegan Caprese?
Unsalted Macadamia Nuts - This is the base of the mozzarella "cheese". It sounds funny to have nuts replace dairy but the macadamia nuts provide a robust taste and a great texture.
Vegan Pesto - Lucilky most supermarkets have vegan pestos handy. Personally, I like the Gotham Greens brand vegan pesto. You can also make my simple vegan pesto recipe here.
Bread - For this recipe, I chose focaccia bread. Foccacia bread is a great Italian bread perfect for sandwiches. Just make sure the bread has no eggs in it to keep it vegan.
Garlic Powder - Although there is no substitute for the real thing a little garlic powder in the macadamia mozzarella is a great addition for a little added flavor.
Tomatoes - What Italian dish is complete without tomatoes. For this dish, I chose tomatoes on the vine just because they are easy to find and have a great flavor. Another good alternative is to use heirloom tomatoes sliced nice and thick.
How long will the recipe last?
This recipe will last a few days in your fridge. If you want to meal prep this it is perfect!
See the ingredient list above for replacements and descriptions.
3 Cups Macadamia Nuts
1 1/4 Cup Warm water
5 fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 juice of a lemon
4 slices of bread
Salt to taste
The Macadamia Mozzerella
In a food processor or a large blender add the 3 cups of macadamia nuts and pulse until the nuts have been blended into fine granules.
Slowly add water to the mixture making sure to scrape the excess from the side back into the mixture.
Add the dry ingredients into the mixture along with the 5 basil leaves and blend until smooth.
Set the mixture aside into the fridge for around 1 - 2 hours. This will soften the nuts and make the vegan mozzarella much more like a ricotta texture.
Preparing the Sandwich
Toast bread slightly so there is a soft center and crisp outer crust.
Apply a generous layer of vegan pesto to the bread on both sides.
Slice the vine ripe tomatoes and place them on one side of the sandwich.
On the other bread take the vegan mozzarella and add a thick layer of the macadamia mixture.