We put a small twist on the traditional caprese with this tartine, a fancy name for an open-faced sandwich. We char grape tomatoes on the grill before serving them atop crusty baguettes along with fresh mozzarella, pine nuts, and basil. The flavors are simple and delicious for an elegant mid-week dinner.
Halve mozzarella. Stem basil, stack leaves, roll into a long cylinder, and slice lengthwise to create very thin strips. Mince garlic. Halve baguettes lengthwise. Heat grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat.
Make the Garlic Vinaigrette
Stir together garlic, Champagne vinegar, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside to let flavors marry.
Toast the Pine Nuts
Place a small non-stick pan over medium heat. Add pine nuts to hot pan and stir often until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. As soon as nuts smell toasted, immediately remove from pan to avoid burning.
Toast the Baguettes
Spray cut side of each baguette half with cooking spray. Place on grill or grill pan, cut side down, and toast until lightly charred, 1-3 minutes.
Grill and Crush the Tomatoes
Spray grill or grill pan with cooking spray. Place grape tomatoes on grill and cook until slightly charred and softened, 2-4 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to another mixing bowl and gently crush. Season with ¼ tsp. salt and stir.
Finish the Dish
Build tartines by placing a serving of charred tomatoes and mozzarella on a toasted baguette half. Drizzle each tartine with 1 tsp. vinaigrette and garnish with basil and pine nuts. Toss spinach with remaining vinaigrette and serve salad on the side.