California Central Coast Recipes
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
When friends show up for a summer dinner, a quick salad is a simple salad of vine ripe tomatoes, basil and mozzarella dribbled with extra virgin oil oil. The secret to this salad is to use really great tasting tomatoes, if you have that, nothing else really matters. Serve this with Roasted Peppers Italian Style
, some fresh bread and wine and you have a complete no-cook light evening meal.
This is the simple cousin to a true Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes
, which is essentially the same salad, but made with fresh mozzarella. But, since the availability of high quality fresh mozzarella is iffy at best, I have found that a good deli sliced mozzarella works fine. Also, if you are preparing the salad for a block party like I have done, the sliced mozzarella is a lot easier to work with (and a whole lot cheaper too!)
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time:
2 Large Vine Ripe Tomatoes
1/2 pound sliced Mozzarella
20 Fresh Basil Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Slice the tomatoes into thin slices, about 1/4 thick at most.
2 Cut the mozzarella slices diagonally in half.
3 Arrange the tomatoes and and mozzarella attractively on a plater in alternating rows of tomatoes and mozzarella. If your cheese is thinly sliced, you can double up each slice. Try to end up with a slice of cheese per tomato slice.
4 Tear the basil leaves into pieces, or slice the basil leaves into strips and even scatter the piece over the plater of tomatoes and mozzarella.
5 Dribble the platter with olive oil and add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste.
This salad goes very well with either a dry while wine like a Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc, or a young red wine like a Zinfandel.
When we are serving the salad as an appetizer, we usually server it with a white wine. If we are serving it as part of a lunch, we usually prefer to accompany it with a red wine, and other red-wine friendly food like Roasted Peppers Italian Style.