On a recent visit to Switzerland, I unexpectedly crossed the border one day for lunch in Italy. Choosing a traditional Caprese salad with Foccacia bread and Gnocchi Gorgonzola seemed the right thing to do. And it was. What a meal!
(Most popular summer Italian speciality featuring three primary ingredients : tomato, basil and mozzarella. Colours that reflect the national flag. Water buffalo mozzarella is always preferred.)
New Age Caprese Salad; Rosemary, Maldon Salt roasted Cherry Tomato Puff Pastry sitting on Fresh Basil Leaves and hand broken Buffalo Mozzarella drizzled with Olive Oil and Vinegar
Yields : 1
4 strips of Mozzarella
5-10 ml Basil pesto
1 Sundried Tomato-soaked in boiling water and sliced
5 ml salted Butter
½ punnet Cherry Tomatoes-cut in half
3 ml Maldon Salt
1 sprig Rosemary
½ ball Buffalo Mozzarella, if available
Fresh Basil Leaves
Olive Oil and Vinegar
1) Base. Roll out Puff Pastry and line a 8cm round tartlet base. Dock (Prick) the base all over. Put into the fridge for at least one hour for the pastry to relax. On top of the puff pastry base put a layer of greaseproof paper and fill with either baking beans, dried beans or rice and Bake Blind. (Chef's note: This is the term given to the method of cooking an empty pastry case.) Bake at 200̊C until the puff is cooked about 15 minutes
2) Cool the base and top with a thin layer of mozzarella. Place basil pesto on top of this layer together with sundried tomato slices
3) Heat a pan extremely well, add butter and tomatoes. Be careful not to overload the pan. Ensure searing. Splash the pan with balsamic
4) Place these hot tomatoes on top of the sundried tomatoes. Add a sprinkle of Maldon salt and chopped Rosemary. Finish with the buffalo mozzarella
5) Put this onto a tray and into a hot oven, 220˚C, allow heating until the buffalo mozzarella is just starting to melt
6) Serve on a bed of fresh basil leaves. Garnish with a good grind of black pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic
Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.
I look forward to hearing from you.