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Vegetable Recipes

TOMATOES WITH BASIL AND MOZZARELLA CHEESE
Pomodori con Basilico & Mozzarella (also Caprese)

The simplest of appetizers reinforce the adage that "less is more". Use the best and freshest possible ingredients here. Your tomatoes must be ripe, bursting with flavor.


            2 large Florida tomatoes
            Salt to taste (optional)
             cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
            2 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
            1 cup shredded fresh basil, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
                   (if fresh not available, use 1 tablespoon dried basil)
            8 ounces mozzarella cheese*, thinly sliced (freshly made is best)
            Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Serves 6 to 8

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and put on a plate with the cut side down. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain off the juices.

Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and arrange on a large serving platter. Drizzle with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then sprinkle with basil.

Arrange the mozzarella (near room temperature is best) over the tomatoes. Grind pepper over the mozzarella and garnish with whole basil leaves.

*Optional: You can use Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead of Mozzarella and/or a spread of pesto.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 10:53 AM ET