There is a great salad that I make which consists of torn mozzarella balls, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, tomatoes, cucumber, pomegranate seeds when I can get them. It is easy, quick and very satisfying and it more often than not will form a complete meal for me. This is a twist on that salad.
I have been reading Nigel Slater again recently. It is difficult to read him in Summer because you can feel the London weather in his writings and in the food that he cooks. Even reading the chapters for summer foods in his book, you can feel the cold creep in. Fruits are cooked and tarts made where normally, In Australia, we will enjoy them straight from the tree, warmed by the sun. Or, at least, fresh off of the supermarket shelves. His writings do make me want to go back to London and its Farmers Markets, but they also make me feel that I can only read his books tucked up in bed with a blanket over my doona.
In his Kitchen Diaries, there is a twist on the fresh mozzarella salad, and it forms such a beautiful breakfast. It is vegetarianised and changed a litte it to suit Australian summery preferences, and it is a perfect start the day on a cool morning.
Mozzarella Salad with Crispy Tomato Crumbs
10 mins prep time plus 15 mins to cook
fresh mozzarella balls – the size of the balls determines how many you need. Here, they are about 1/2 the size of a tennis ball. I used 3 for 2 people
1.5 Tblspn pomegranate molasses
2 Tblspn pomegranate seeds
1 large passionfruit
1.5 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil
for the tomato crumbs
2 large tomatoes
4 or 5 medium sized basil leaves
0.5 Tblspn good olive oil
A pinch or two of ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200C.
Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Dice the flesh of the tomatoes into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Tear or shred the basil leaves and finely grate the parmesan, then add to the tomatoes with the olive oil. Toss gently with the breadcrumbs and black pepper, then tip in a thin layer onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the mixture has lightly crisped on top.
Leave for a few minutes to cool and crisp up a little.
While the tomatoes are cooking you can tear the fresh mozzarella balls and place on plates. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, olive oil and sprinkle with finely chopped basil leaves, passionfruit, and pomegranate seeds. Dust with a little black pepper.
Using a slice, move some of the tomato crumbs over the mozzarella. They are crumbly, so might break up, but that isn’t a problem.
Don’t discard the tomato seeds and juices, add to a soup or curry etc.
I used home made basil leaves preserved in olive oil, and used the basil flavoured oil for the crumb.