Sauteed Mozzarella alla Caprese
I’ve had a not-so-secret crush on Alton Brown for a long time now, but Mario Batali may have just won me over. Oh, people, this dish is fanflippingtastic. It takes bruschetta to a whole new level.
My basil is growing so well that I’ve started looking around for some good eats (ahhh…. the AB love is still there after all). Anyway. I came across this Food Network recipe and I knew this would be my basil’s debut. It did not disappoint, believe me.
I grilled the bread slices, then rubbed a garlic clove all over them while they were still warm. Everything else was already prepped and ready to go into the olive oil, so it went together really easily. I wouldn’t have minded a little more breading on the mozzarella, but it was so creamy and wonderful that I can’t really even complain about it. Warming the tomatoes and basil in the hot pan brought out their color and flavor. The whole thing is just amazingly good. As Jim said while we were eating it, “This one’s a keeper.” Definitely. I’ve got three tomato plants full of tiny tomatoes right now and the basil is doing great, so I’m going to be making this a lot.
Recipe: Sauteed Mozzarella all Caprese
(slightly adapted from Mario Batali)
5-6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. bread crumbs with fresh ground black pepper
4 – 1/2″ slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
4 very ripe tomatoes, chopped into 1″ dice (about 1 pound) (I used about 2 1/2 c. grape tomatoes.)
2 bunches basil, leaves only
4 slices country bread, cut into 1″ slices (I used an Italian wheat bread.)
garlic clove, peeled
If you’re making your own bread crumbs, do that first, add pepper; and set aside. Chop tomatoes and slice basil into thin strips.
Preheat grill or broiler for toasting bread. Grill bread to toast. As soon as you remove toast from heat, rub with garlic clove and set aside.
In a 12-14″ nonstick saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Dredge mozzarella slices in bread crumbs, shaking to remove loose bits. Place mozzarella slices in pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. (This takes only about a minute.) Remove each slice of cheese and place it on top of a slice of toasted bread.
Add tomatoes to pan and toss to heat, about 30 seconds. Add basil leaves and toss to wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon tomatoes and basil around and over top of mozzarella and serve.