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A MARIO BATALI RECIPE

Winter Caprese Salad

Recipe courtesy of Molto Gusto (ecco 2010)

winter caprese_post image


Ingredients

Serves 6

Oven-Dried Tomatoes (see below), halved
¼ cup agrodolce
6 tablespoons Basil Pesto (see below)
Six 3-ounce balls fresh mozzarella (or a generous 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 slices)

 

For the oven-dried tomatoes:

Makes about 1 ½ cups

2 ½ pounds plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Maldon or other flaky sea salt

 

 

For the basil pesto:

Makes about 1 cup

3 garlic clove
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Generous pinch of Maldon or other flaky sea salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

Combine the tomatoes and agrodolce in a small bowl, mixing well.

 

Put the pesto in a small bowl. Dip each mozzarella ball into the pesto, coating it generously, and place on a salad plate. Divide the tomatoes among the plates and serve.

 

For the oven-dried tomatoes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

 

Cut the tomatoes lengthwise in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with your fingers. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and salt in a bowl, then arrange cut side down on the baking sheet.

 

Bake the tomatoes for 30 minutes, or until the skins are beginning to shrivel. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F.

 

Pull off the tomato skins and discard. Blot up any juices on the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the tomatoes are collapsed and slightly wrinkled but still moist. Let cool.

 

The tomatoes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 

For the basil pesto:

With the motor running, drop the garlic into a food processor to chop it.

 

Add the basil, pine nuts, and salt and pulse until the basil and nuts are coarsely chopped, then process until finely chopped.

 

With the motor running, drizzle in the oil.

 

Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the Parmigiano and pecorino.

 

The pesto can be stored in a tightly sealed jar, topped with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.

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