Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella

While this is not nearly as much of a "recipe" as some posts on this blog, this colorful plate certainly does pack some punch when it comes to presentation. The simplicity of the flavor, color, and presentation really make this kind of a standout dish, and it so simple. The secret is all really in the quality of the ingredients: without fancy sauces or anything to hide behind, the quality of the tomatoes and cheese shines right on through. Go ahead and splurge a little on this one at the farmer's market or a high-end grocery store. You'll be happy you did.

It's great by itself, or you can serve it with some toasted bread drizzled with a little olive oil.

Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella

  • Fresh, slightly firm tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella (yes, it has to be fresh: there's a difference)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Balsamic vinegar
(If you're using pine nuts: toast the nuts by placing them in a flat-bottomed pan over medium heat. Shake the pan regularly to mix them around, being very careful to not let them burn. Continue for a few minutes until both sides are golden brown. Remove from heat.)

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into me dium, even-sized slices. Layer alternately on a platter (if you're using red peppers, too, layer them in as well). Drizzle with the olive oil (and vinegar), then top with torn/chopped basil leaves (and pine nuts).

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