Sunday, August 24, 2014

Grilled Tomato Salad with Mozzarella, Charred Basil and Balsamic

Fit for Roman Gods, this mozzarella salad with grilled cherry tomatoes and slightly charred basil is super easy -- the grill flavor of the tomatoes adds a layer of sophistication to the more typical mozzarella, tomato and basil salad.
Creamy Mozzarella Topped with Grilled Tomatoes and Charred Basil (Lexi Van de Walle)
5-6 metal or wooden skewers (if using wood, soak in water to prevent burning)
1 quart of cherry tomatoes - mixed colors and local, if available
20 large basil leaves
1/4 plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound of superior quality mozzarella, preferably handmade

Preheat an outdoor grill (a stove top grill pan can be substituted). 

Coat a quart of local cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves with olive oil. 
Coat the tomatoes and basil with olive oil (Lexi Van de Walle)

Thread the tomatoes onto skewers being careful not to split the tomatoes. Place 4-5 oiled basil leaves one on top of the other and fold into quarters before threading onto their own skewer. Repeat until you've used all the basil leaves. 
Yellow and Red Cherry Tomato and Basil Kebabs (Lexi Van de Walle)

Grill tomatoes and basil over a low heat turning every 1-2 minutes (or more often so as not to burn) until the tomatoes and basil have char marks. The basil will be done very quickly. Remove and set vegetables aside to cool. 

Using a sharp knife, slice cheese into 1/4 inch thick rounds and arrange on a platter. Top cheese with tomato and basil. If desired, salt sparingly and drizzle additional olive oil over the salad before serving.
 Tomato and Basil Kebobs Sizzling on the Grill (Lexi Van de Walle)

Optional (add a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar)
A Light Dizzle of Balsamic Tops Mozzarella and Grilled Tomato Salad (Lexi Van de Walle)

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