Nan's Grilled Mozzarella and Olive Sandwich

Nan's Grilled Mozzarella and Olive SandwichRecipe
Photo: Thomas J. Story

Stretchy, mild fresh mozzarella is layered with briny olive tapenade to create a rich, savory sandwich. Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, of Cowgirl Creamery in Northern California, created this recipe for Nan Haynes, olive lover, Conley's life partner, and cheesemonger extraordinaire at Cowgirl's shop in the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The recipe is adapted from one in Cowgirl Creamery Cooks (Chronicle Books).


The Cowgirls make their own fresh olive salad with green and black olives, but it's fine to use chunky tapenade instead.

Makes 2 sandwiches (serving size: 1 sandwich)


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About 1/3 cup chunky green or black olive tapenade, drained if oily
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
4 slices ciabatta, rosemary bread, or mild sourdough
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


Total: 15 Minutes

1. Mix tapenade with orange zest and chile flakes in a small bowl.

2. Layer mozzarella with tapenade on 2 bread slices. Top with remaining slices.

3. Butter outsides of each sandwich.

4. Heat a large well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or a large, heavy nonstick pan over medium heat for a minute.

5. Place sandwiches in skillet and cook until golden-brown underneath, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until it's just as toasty. Low and slow is the key. Cheese will probably ooze out, but that's okay. It gives the sandwiches a nice crunchy fringe.

Created date

October 2013

Nutritional Information

Calories 879
Caloriesfromfat 33 %
Protein 31 g
Fat 32 g
Satfat 18 g
Carbohydrate 114 g
Fiber 5 g
Sodium 1471 mg
Cholesterol 97 mg