Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tomato & Mozzarella

Isn't it the most gorgeous/ simple combination of perfection on God's Green Earth? Red & white with a little green. I've told my kids the Italian flag is green, white & red because of basil, mozzarella & tomato. Correct me if I'm wrong Italians? (Hey, I also teach them Japan's flag is a obento with an umeboshi in the middle. Don't get me started on other countries)

This salad has my husband's stamp of 100% approval on it.

The story goes like this: The first time I invited Josh to dinner at our home was for Christmas Dinner so I was going all out trying to impress him. (of course I was) After working all day in the kitchen and then trying to look like I hadn't been working all day in the kitchen, I believe he was genuinely surprised. (you know, that face where he's impressed but trying not to look impressed? He didn't know I could) The part though where he decided to marry me & live happily ever after was when only a few guests nibbled at the tomato & mozzarella salad & by the end of the meal when everyone was packing in those last few desserts, he was contentedly sitting with two plates of tomatoes & mozzarella before him & happily scarfing down all the remainder. Murmuring his approval as he tilted the plate & downed the dressing as well.........and then of course we went & had 6 kids. THE END!!!

Juuuuust kidding!

Well, if you can't get it by looking at the pictures I don't really know how to help you. Slice it, arrange it, sprinkle plenty of salt & pepper on it, rip some basil onto it, drizzle olive oil over it & that's it. Generally it's proper to use red-wine vinegar & extra virgin olive oil but I agree balsamic vinegar will do great too if you like that strong-manly taste. The above picture has some mixed nuts left over from my another dish but I thought it was purty.

Here's the alternative "summer veggie salad". Which I'm sorry to say did NOT get the DH's stamp of approval. Due to the presence of eggplant & zucchini. Slice & saute the veggies in olive oil & add them to the process. Roughly 75% of my kids liked it. (that's lemon thyme in the middle & I bet it would taste awesome sprinkled over the salad in place of basil.)
And if it's winter & you don't have any fresh basil, I wouldn't substitute the dry basil with it's "sawdust" consistency on top, it really doesn't go over too well. Just have it as is! (Note the black balsamic vinegar)

Note: Don't refrigerate too long before eating if you've salted it or a lot of the tomatoes juice will drain out. Plus it looks so nice with that "I-just-took-a- shower-in- olive- oil" look.


Kari said...

Comment from S.O: "Ooh, that looks good!"
And I almost thought the story about Josh was true... Heh heh!

Kari said...

Oh bother, I forgot to post what I came here to say. Try this sometime Al:

Junior said...

Alisa, your meals are the bomb! Josh is lucky a lucky Chap.

Masa said...

AGGGG I could really go for that right now.
Actually Al, the other day we had an appointment with one of our supporter-typish friends and he took mom, chara and me out to dinner to some fancy Italian restaurant in Chiba.
We ordered a plate of Tomato and Mozzarella for about 1.600 or something and I was thinking that it was going to be decent sized...
When it came it was this huge plate with this tiny little thing in the middle about the mass of a cherry tomato worth of tomato and mozzarella.
But but!! It was like nothing you ever ate before! GOSH! It tasted like you would imagine something out of "DOCHI?!" to taste like.
There, I have successfully shared my joy/strange-food-out-experience with you.


babylove said...

Kari: Tx 4 the link, I remember you suggesting it B4. BTW the syory IS true!!!

Jr: (blush) TX, your too kind!

Mas: Good foodie story! Probobly buffallo mozzarella, did Mom tell the guy she thought mozzarella cheese tastes like tasteless tofu. Probobly not, huh?

kathy said...

Ahhhh what I wouldnt give for some good mozzarella di buffala. I cant believe they would have that in Japan though, wow. And yes i agree with you and preffer to believe they made our flag after this delicious food. May I visit you?

Lisa said...

Hey Alisa,

Love you blog, so great to see someone devoting some time to food.

That dish you have up there with the added zuchhini and eggplant is almost ratattoui.

You should try grilling it, or maybe giving it a small crust of polenta or breadcrumbs and bakeing it.

I may have to try that I have all those ingredents in my fridge.

Babylove said...

Yeah, I was acutally thinking of ratattoui when I was making it but I just HAD to keep that vibrent color scheme.

Also My DH really can't stand courgettes. I was never really a fan till recently but I'll try to wean him. Glad to see you here.