You have all the right to give me a few kicks on the backside. Talking off which, I promise you, the lack of communique and posts were nothing to do with me lying on my backside. I have been travelling non-stop and in a good way. Went visited the son in San Diego, and then the daughter in San Jose.
Immediately after that, there was a quick trip to Delhi, Bangalore, Chikmanglur, UK and Scotland – so you tell me, other than amassing a repertoire of good food recipes to develop, where would I have found the time to write a post? HUH?
I sent the husband to Food Hall (our best gourmet store in Bombay), for a spot of food shopping. Foodie that he is, he went quite unhinged and brought me back so much food, that when I think of it even now, I break out into a sweat!
Within this shopping frenzy, he got back fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese. Since it was staring at me from the fridge shelf for more than two days, I wanted to make something with it. Frankly, I was quite done and dusted with the typical Caprese Salad. Using the same ingredients, we went about trying something completely new. I first considered topping it with mango salsa, but it sounded so bleh! And – the son made such a face, I immediately gave up the idea. So while standing and staring at the Mozzarella for more than 5 minutes, I came up with this concept.
One can call it a Baked Caprese Salad, but somehow the word “melted” made it sound a bit exotic and intriguing.
You will need a cast iron skillet. Mine was too deep, so I used my sizzler plate instead.
I sliced tomatoes and onions and sautéd them in a non-stick pan with good old olive oil. Then transferred them to the sizzler plate. Then – added the mozzarella and popped it into a hot oven. The Mozzarella melted overwhelmingly, and Voila I had a brand new dish in my hands.
I could have set the sizzler plate on top of the stove and roasted the tomatoes and onions directly on it, but I found it easier and cleaner to use the non-stick and then transfer the contents.
I wanted to use basil leaves and/or pesto, but again not the same typical recipe. Instead, I made Basil oil.
Melted Caprese Salad, is different, outlandish and out of the box. But hey! It’s tasty, wholesome and the best thing is it’s not boring. Enjoy it as a starter, or even as a heavy serving of side dish. I served it with thin slices of toasted baguettes drizzled with aged extra virgin olive oil. Melted Caprese Salad is garnished with pickled green peppers, but I think even capers would add an additional piquant flavour.
- 2 Large tomatoes Cut into thick round slices
- 1 Large onion Cut into medium thick, round slices
- 6 Cloves garlic Cut into thin slices, lenghtwise
- 200 gms Mozzarella Balls Cut into thick round slices
- 1 Tbspn olive oil
- 2 Tspns Italian mixed herbs - dry
- 2 Tbspn Green Pepper or Capers
- 1 Tspn salt
- 1 1/2 Tspn Red Chilli Flakes For garnish
- 6 Leaves basil For garnish
- Baguette Thinly sliced and toasted.
- 25 Leaves basil For the Basil Oil
- 2 Tbspn Extra Virgin Olive oil For the Basil Oil
- Crush and grind the Basil leaves in a mortar pestle.
- Taking a clean muslin cloth, put all the ingredients of the ground basil leaves (juice and crushed leaves) into the cloth and twist the tops to make a small pouch.
- Using clean hands, squeeze out all the juice into a container.
- Discard the leaves
- Transfer the juice into olive oil
- Keep aside. If you can make this a day or so in advance its even better, as all the flavours will seep into the oil, making the taste more enhanced.
- Pre heat oven to 200 Deg C.
- Set the non stick on medium heat.
- Pour the olive oil and let it heat, but not smoke and burn.
- Add the onions and garlic. Add half the salt and Italian seasoning.
- Sauté for not more than a minute - or till the onions starts looking a bit wilted. Remember its going to cook again inside a oven.
- Transfer the onions and garlic, on the sizzler plate, scraping as much of the seasoning with it, as possible.
- Arrange the onions next to each other and the garlic should be scattered all around.
- Add the tomatoes to the non stick along with the balance half of the salt and Italian seasoning.
- Do not over cook. When the tomatoes sizzle,immediately take off the fire and transfer the tomatoes on the sizzler plate. Arrange them on top of the onions.
- Arrange the slices of Mozzarella rounds on the onions and tomatoes.
- Pop them into the oven, keeping the sizzler plate on the top part of the oven.
- Heat till the Mozzarella melts and bubble. Do not over bake, else tomato will reduce to mush.
- Garnish with green peppers / capers, basil leaves, basil oil and chilli flakes.
- Serve immediately with thinly toasted baguettes, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
Wow wow so much fun! I love traveling, used to travel so much at one time. Now, it’s has come down a lot.
As for this dish…droooooling. Both I and my husband LOVE fresh mozzarella cheese with wine. I bet this idea of baked caprese with all that capers and garlic …. YUMMMY. Definitely happening in my kitchen soon. Will let you know how much we loved it.
I hope you do! Actually i like any cheese (not the worm ones!) Sigh!! Have fun!