Who doesn’t like a Caprese salad? Sliced tomatoes layered with basil and Mozzarella, then drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and mebbe a splash of good balsamic. Kinda like summer on a plate.
Of course, where I live, it is not summer, and good, vine ripened tomatoes are hard to come by (and expensive!)
Enter the humble plum tomato…
Reasonably priced at most any time of the year, and not too, too bad tasting…
especially after they’ve been run through the broiler with a bit of basil and cheese and olive oil and…
well, we’ll get there.
•1 plum tomato per person
•1/8 tsp Kosher salt per tomato half
•Chopped fresh basil
•Diced Fontina cheese*
*Yes, a true Caprese would be Mozzarella, but I had Fontina on hand. Deal with it.
Slice the tomatoes in half, then season the cut side of each half with the salt.
Flip the tomatoes over onto a paper towel lined tray and set ’em aside to drain for 30 minutes or so.
Flip the tomatoes over and blot dry.
Note: when I did this, the seeded core of some of the tomatoes came right out. so I chucked ’em. Next time, I will probably just seed all of the tomatoes.
Heat your broiler, then line a pan with foil.
Arrange the tomato halves in the pan, season with freshly cracked black pepper, then sprinkle with the basil.
Pop under the broiler and cook until heated through and you have some nicely browned edges – mebbe eight minutes.
Remove from the oven and add the cheese.
Pop back under the broiler for a minute or so, just until the cheese is melted.
Nicely done deal.
And, the Fontina was lovely, but…
Next time, along with getting rid of those seed cores, I think a ball of baby Mozzarella and a drizzle of sherry vinegar after broiling might could make a good dish a great one.