Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

3 Tbsp. garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 bunch fresh basil

6 vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin*

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin**

*Visit a farmer's market in your area to find a variety of sizes and colors.

**Fresh mozzarella is typically available during the summer months at specialty grocers and cheese shops. For a real treat, try the "mozzarella di buffalo" from your local grocer.

Mix the garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and set aside. Pluck and stack the basil leaves, and slice into 1*8-inch ribbons. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a cutting board, and season each slice with salt, pepper and a generous pinch of basil ribbons. Top each tomato with a slice of mozzarella. Move slices to a serving platter. Spoon the balsamic olive oil mixture over the tomatoes and cheese. Serve with thick-cut crusty bread for dipping. Serves six.

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