One of my favorite things about living in NYC is how easy it is to get great buffalo mozzarella. Of course I wish I had the best of both worlds, great mozzarella and tomatoes and basil growing in my garden. So for now I just have to take advantage of the amazing grocery stores that offer all of these. I am also a huge fan of the Barefoot Contessa so I decided to make her recipe of Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad. I got it out of her Back to Basics book. I brought it to a picnic and it was a huge hit. What is great about this is you can make it early and it transports well. I've also made this as a appetizer for a dinner on top of a lovely crusty bread or cracker. Try it and let me know what you think.
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not core) removed
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons of sugar
kosher salt and pepper
16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
Pre heat oven to 275 degrees
Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.
Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2 inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle the lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature.