lilacs in bucket

lilacs in bucket

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sum, sum, sum, sum, sum, sum, summertime!


Ah, roasted tomato caprese salad, that's what I'm talking about.
Might seem a bit elementary to bigger cooks than me, however. Gotta say it. Knowing it's not really tomato season yet, I'm thinking I'm pretty smart right now. Thinking that roasting these pre-season tomatoes is a darn fine idea.
Roasting your tomatoes (or any vegetable, for that matter) will bring out the natural sweetness, and in this case, tomatoes aren't really in season yet, so they need a little help in bringing out all their natural goodness. So, I vote roasting. I've never seen it fail, with any vegetable.
Here's what I do:
10-12 roma or plum tomatoes - halve these babies. Lay them out, cut side up, on a baking sheet.
Preheat your oven to 275°. Drizzle with about a quarter cup extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle again with 1 1/2 tablespoons blasamic vinegar. Combine 2 large garlic cloves (minced), with 2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar, some kosher salt and some pepper. Sprinkle liberally over tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes for 2 or so hours, or until slightly carmalized. Let them cool.
Bring out a very nice serving dish. Come on now. Summertime!
Here's something about mozzarella, and I'm talking about fresh mozzarella, not the shredded variety - freeze your cheese for about 15 minutes before you plan to slice it. There is something just really gross about trying to slice room-temperature mozzarella cheese. It's seriously icky. All that sliding and buckling under the knife, no way. So, freeze your mozzarella, allow it to get slightly hard before you slice it. Slice your mozarella into thin strips, layer your dish, alternating your cheese with your tomato halves. Julienne about 10 good size basil leaves. Now, don't cheat and sprinkle the dried version here. Just don't do that. Seriously, roll up your basil leaves and slice them. Scatter the basil atop your tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkle some more salt and pepper, drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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