two recipes, from the same (most excellent, if I might add) author – no, not me, the barefoot contessa – both calling for basically the same ingredients, but wildly different cooking temps and times – 275º for 90 minutes vs. 450º for 20 – and both yielding pretty much wildly wonderful results – but one mebbe just a touch wildly more wonderful…
which do you call ‘Best!’?
Well, I couldn’t decide either, so I went with ‘Besterer!’ for this version, because I think it may be, and because it calls for using the results in a fine Caprese salad – this year’s crop of tomatoes and basil from teh garden have been pretty darned good – so much so that I had this whole bowl of delicious tomatoes that needed something done with, and the basil is crowding out the front door on the porch – so turning both into a Caprese salad with a bit of fresh Mozz seemed like a perfect solution.
•2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
•Balsamic vinegar – I use 25 year old
•3 large garlic cloves, minced
•Coarse sea salt
•Freshly ground black pepper
•16 oz fresh salted mozzarella
•12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
Note: the contessa calls for using 1-1/2 pounds of plum tomatoes. If you do, cut them in half and scoop out the seeds.
Arrange the tomatoes and garlic in one layer in a large baking pan (glass is easiest for clean up). If using plum tomatoes, arrange them cut side up.
Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with the sugar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pop into the oven for 90 minutes – mebbe go two hours if using those plum tomatoes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
The salad is simplicity itself: arrange the sliced mozz on a plate, add the tomatoes , then top with the basil and mebbe some more freshly ground black and Aleppo pepper.