Italy, take me back. I dream of the day I’ll return for a visit and dine on oodles of freshly made pasta, sipping wine on a veranda overlooking rolling fields of vineyards.
Years ago in Tuscany, my husband and I ventured to the little town of Lucca to participate in a private hands-on cooking class with chef Paolo Monti at Hotel Carignano. Chef taught us how to prepare dishes including Insalata di Arance e Gamberetti (Orange and Shrimp Salad), Risotto ai Gamberetti, Rucola e Zafferano (Seafood Risotto with Shrimp and Saffron), Farfalle alla Fonduta Piccante di Pomodoro e Mozzarella (Butterfly Pasta with Creamy Mozzarella Tomato Sauce), and this Mozzarella Fresca al Frullato di Pomodoro (Fresh Mozzarella with Raw Tomato Sauce).
This recipe offers a new spin on the popular flavors of caprese salad. Enjoy tomatoes now while at their peak in sweetness and juiciness. If have leftover coulis, you can do what I do and sip it like a smoothie, it’s so light and refreshing.
Fresh Mozzarella with Tomato Coulis and Basil
To make the coulis:
2 medium tomatoes (red, yellow, or orange), quartered
1 medium scallion, cut into fourths
1 celery stick heart, without leaves, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 pinches salt
1 pinch raw sugar
3 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad:
9-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced into medallions
2 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic syrup (optional)
Tiny basil leaves
Flaked sea salt, like Maldon sea salt flakes (my new obsession)
To make the coulis: Puree the tomatoes, scallion, celery, vinegar and salt in a food processor, drizzling in oil to create a smooth sauce. Spoon the coulis onto a large platter or individual plates.
To assemble the salad: Arrange the mozzarella over the coulis and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic syrup (optional). Sprinkle with basil and flaked salt.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes 4 servings, plus a bit of extra sauce
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 325 calories, 28 g total fat (10 g saturated fat, x g trans fat), 445 mg sodium, 50 mg cholesterol, 5 g total carbohydrate (1 g fiber), 15 g protein, 3% DV iron, 33% DV calcium, 20% DV Vitamin A, 14% DV Vitamin C.
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