09 August 2009

Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad (with title)
I've heard someone say that one of the worst ways to start a speech is with an apology. I'm glad then, that this isn't a speech, and I'm me, and I am rarely too proud to apologize when I have to. Again I dropped out of the blogosphere for a whole week, except for the few times I logged on to Twitter and had a nice time chatting with a bunch of folks. You see, I'm trying out this thing where I only read and comment on blogs once a week.

No, nothing bad happened. I may have shaved a bit off my thumb on a mandoline making a fresh fennel salad, but I am not deterred from cooking. I have not started to think that since I only post once a week, I should only also read yours once a week. I am happy to read your posts even if they occur more frequently than mine and chat away like I usually do, it's not about balance. I am not burned out; I'll always have plenty to say and I have a lot more things to learn.

It's that thing, you know; life! Ha ha ha. Even if I'm flattered that the odd person or two will say that I should make food my career, it is not. It's my (two year-old) hobby. It's simply come to the point where I can't devote my attention to studying (ahem, my life!) and jumping on the newest post from a friend of mine when it appears on my feed reader. I have to move all of that to one day and resist the temptation to click on the other days (as it greets me on my homepage). So don't worry, I'm not dropping off completely and of course I will still read and comment on your posts, just not on the pulse as I usually am, and I can still be found on Twitter and reviewing books for The Gastronomer's Bookshelf (speaking of which, we have a new review of Pim of Chez Pim's new book, The Foodie Handbook). I may be studying but I'm not dead! It's what the lovely Jen calls "getting my shit together."

This recipe is one from a book I reviewed, Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. My uncle heard I was quite the food lover, so he asked me when I went to San Francisco to help him set up a platter of Caprese salad for a party. Not one to let an opportunity to try a new recipe slip away, I made Ina Garten's recipe, and I was blown away by how good the tomatoes ended up, even as winter was just ending! I wish I'd saved some more for myself.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

  • 12 plum tomatoes, seeds removed

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 450g (1 pound) fresh salted mozzarella

  • 12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 135°C (275°F). Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a sheet pan in a single layer and drizzle with most of the olive oil and all the balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with garlic, sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 2 hours and allow the to cool to room temperature. Cut the mozzarella into about 1/2-inch (1.2cm) slices and arrange them alternately with the tomatoes on a platter. Sprinkle with the basil, a little more salt and pepper, and the rest of the olive oil.
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