Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mozzarella Caprese CAHD style

  • 3 vine ripened tomatoes, medium to large
  • 1 small ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 C plus 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 pieces of Genoa salami, diced
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, whole
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t red pepper flake
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a small saute pan over medium high heat, drizzle 1 T olive oil and add diced salami. 
  2. Cook until salami is crisp (about five minutes).
  3. Remove salami with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  4. Wash pan.
  5. Return pan to medium high heat and add 1/4 C olive oil and garlic cloves.
  6. Cook the garlic until it becomes a deep golden brown and then add pepper flake.
If you under cook the garlic the flavor will be too strong, if you overcook the garlic the flavor will become bitter.  When cooked just right the garlic becomes rich and sweet. 

7.  Remove the garlic and pour the now infused oil into a bowl and set in the freezer for at least 15  minutes to bring to room temperature.
8.  Cut the top and bottom off of the tomatoes and discard.
9.  Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 in pieces.
10.  Slice the mozzarella ball in half. 
11.  Slice the mozzarella into 1/4 in pieces.
12.  Arrange the tomatoes around the outside of a large platter.
13.  Top the tomatoes with basil and mozzarella.

This is a great place to have your younger kids assist you.  Have them put the salad together or top with the salami "croutons."
14.  Drizzle the salad with the oil and top with salami croutons, garlic powder (dried garlic has a more concentrated flavor and adds an extra kick to this flavor profile), and fine chop the 3 garlic cloves and sprinkle evenly over the salad with salt and pepper to taste.
15.  Garnish with a bed of lettuce topped with vine-on tomatoes and the top of a basil flower.