Tag Archives: basil

Princess Tomato Salad with Homemade Pesto, Buffalo Mozzarella and Breadrolls

I know, I’ve been away for far too long. What can I say – life happens. But here’s this fantastic summer dish that I just have to share. Not as many pictures as in other food posts, but I guess this will do anyways. 🙂 Also, testing the camera in my new smartphone, thus I can somehow not get the pictures any bigger. 😦

 

Princess Tomatos

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Date Tomatos (alternatively Cherry Tomatos or Perla Tomatos)
  • a generous bunch of fresh basil
  • pine nuts or almonds or walnuts
  • parmesan cheese
  • a couple of sprigs rosemary
  • garlic
  • sour cream
  • spring onions
  • paninis to finish baking yourself
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, aceto balsamico

 

Start by finely chopping a clove of garlic and some rosemary. Mix with some coarse salt and olive oil and set aside. (you will need this to brush the bread rolls, so one to two tsp of olive oil will do)

Next, prepare the tomatoes. To make a regular tomato a princess tomato, you want to peel them. This is actually quite easy. 🙂 Firstly, you want to nick all the tomatoes on top. Just a small cut through the skin. Next, bring some water to a boil. Prepare a separate bowl with ice water in it. As soon as the water is boiling, you want to blanch the tomatoes for about 20 seconds. Simply count from 20 to 40, that will do. 🙂 Then dump the tomatoes in the ice water. You will now be able to remove the skin quite easily. Put the skinned tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with approx. 1 tbsp sugar and some olive oil. Yes, sugar. Trust me, it’ll turn out real tasty! Then set aside.

Next, the pesto. A traditional pesto is prepared with pine nuts. However, the price of pine nuts around here is exorbitantly high and therefore I went for the budget version. About five almonds or a couple of kernels of walnuts will work just as well. Put a generous amount of fresh basil, one or two cloves of garlic, some parmesan, five almonds (or pine nuts or walnuts) and a generous amount of olive oil in a food processor. Mix until you have a a nice paste. You might need to add some more olive oil to give it a sauce-ier consistency. Lastly, add just a dash of Aceto Balsamico to the pesto.

While you could obviously make your own fresh bread rolls, I went again for the quicker version – store bought rolls to pop in the oven and bake for a couple of minutes. Seriously, after a long day at work I don’t have the energy to be a perfect housewife and do use shortcuts whenever possible. 😉 Prepare as directed on the packaging.

Lastly, the sour cream dip. Finely cut the green of a spring onion. Mix with the sour cream, add freshly ground pepper and a dash of lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.

Now, to add the last touches to the princess tomatos. They have by now marinated nicely in some olive oil and sugar. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with some sugar, quickly stir them in the hot pan and take them out again. You don’t want to cook them, you just want to caramelize them.

Next, bring everything together. Chop a couple of fresh basil leaves and mix them with the tomatos. Cut the buffalo mozzarella into pieces. Brush the rosemary/garlic/olive oil mix over the still warm rolls. Arrange everything on a plate and then enjoy a caprese salad like you’ve never had one before. 🙂

Princess Tomatos

 

 

 

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Piadina

Piadina (plural Piadine) is an Italian speciality that I love very much. We are lucky enough to have a Piadina Bar in town where you can buy freshly made Piadine. Unfortunately, they are quite pricey.

Imagine how thrilled I was when our local grocery store started to carry raw Piadina! Now, Piadina is a baked good, made from wheat flour, rolled out very thin and then baked with no fat on a hot plate or in a wide flat pan. In fact, if you’d like to try this and can’t get your hand on Piadine you can substitute them easily with flour tortillas. Tortillas are similar enough to work with. 

The beauty of Piadine is that they can be prepared to individual taste and varied endlessly. (I like that!) Here’s how I usually prepare them.

 

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Warm Focaccia Sandwiches

Focaccia is awesome. Either to enjoy it fresh out of the oven with no fuzz or prepared like here as warm sandwiches. Believe me – it’s totally worth to go through the trouble of preparation because these warm sandwiches are divine!

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Focaccia, in case you do not know what it is:

“Focaccia (Italian pronunciation: [foˈkattʃa]) is a flat oven-baked Italian bread,[1] which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients. It is similar in style and texture to pizza, but not considered to be the same.”

There are many variants out there. I found a simple one at the store that was topped with herbs. In case you can’t get your hands on Focaccia, this recipe works just as fine with simple toast. And you know me – I love recipes that may be varied. 🙂 Same here, take this as an idea as to how to prepare your next sandwich, but experiment with toppings you like or happen to have at home.

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