This brilliant summer staple is perfect for a quick appetizer or picnic dish. Serve it with this pretty presentational twist. From Williams-Sonoma Outdoor Entertaining.
4 balls fresh mozzarella cheese, about ¾ lb. total weight
32 fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Balsamic vinegar glaze for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the tomatoes on a cutting board, stem side down. Using a sharp knife, make 4 evenly spaced slits crosswise in each tomato, stopping about ½ inch from the bottom.
Cut the mozzarella into 32 thin, uniform slices. Working with 1 tomato at a time, insert 1 mozzarella slice and 1 basil leaf into each slit.
When ready to serve, place the prepared tomatoes on a platter. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic glaze and season with the salt and pepper. Serve at once.
Note: Tomatoes filled with mozzarella slices and basil leaves make for a beautiful presentation and are easy to serve. Balsamic glaze, which is used to season the salad, is found alongside the balsamic vinegars in many stores. If unavailable, use a well-aged balsamic vinegar.