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Friday, April 12, 2013

Heirloom Caprese Melt

My local grocery store had some beautiful organic heirloom tomatoes yesterday. I never really loved eating raw tomatoes until I tried heirlooms. This is what a tomato should taste like. Some of the other varieties are okay in a pinch, but given a choice I'll take the heirlooms evey time, thank you very much. For lunch today, I wanted to use up some of the odds and ends in the fridge before I go grocery shopping this weekend. On the counter I noticed the end of a loaf of Italian bread that the rest of the family had with dinner last night, and in a basket next to the bread sat my heirloom tomatoes. Mona Lisa, an Italian grocer and deli in San Diego's Little Italy, makes a delicious caprese sub with fresh mozzarella on crusty Italian bread. That sounded good, but all I had in the fridge was some shredded mozzarella and I was picturing it melted & caramelized, so this is what I came up with:
Heirloom Caprese Melt
(makes 4)
1 small loaf of Italian or French bread (baguette)
3 heirloom tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic
1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1 Tbsp fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Preheat broiler on low setting. Finely mince the garlic and herbs. Mix 1 tsp of the herb mixture with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cut the bread in half across the middle, then slice each half lengthwise, scoop out some of the soft insides and place cut side up on a sheet pan. Core and slice the tomatoes and arrange on bread halves. Drizzle each with 1 Tbsp of the oil and vinegar mixture. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella, Parmesan, remaining herbs, salt and pepper. Place into broiler, and cook until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
I served this with small hearts of romaine, sliced crosswise, drizzled with remaining dressing and sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
With the salad, it's about 482 calories per serving.

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