VDP: Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella. Few ingredients are better when combined. I love to make this salad with the best tomatoes I can find. I toss them with a dressing made with excellent quality olive oil (a Sicilian one in this case), very little minced garlic, salt and pepper. The key is, if you have the time, to let the tomato salad rest, for 15-30 minutes. This draws some of the juice out of the tomato and blends with the dressing.

The basil is added next and mixed in. Then I arrange the tomatoes on a platter, tear off pieces of milky fresh mozzarella and scatter them on top. A bit of salad greens go on top. Arugula is especially good. I drizzle the mixture with the rest of the dressing and serve it with grilled or toasted rustic bread.

VDP: Egg Ribbons

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eggs. Is there anything they cannot do? From savory to sweet, the egg is the undisputed queen of the kitchen. Without it we have no custard, no quiche or crème caramel, no egg-pasta and no omelets. Without the whites of the egg we have no fluffy meringue preparations, no macarons and no tender cakes (or crispy Dacquoise for that matter). The egg is good fried, poached, boiled, baked or cooked up very thin and made into ribbons. What? You never heard of that last one or maybe you have but never tried it?

It is much easier than it looks and it is guaranteed to impress your guests whether you use it in a salad like I do here or sauce it with some butter and cheese and serve it like pasta as a first course. The recipe here is from Jamie Oliver’s latest book “Jamie at Home“. He serves his egg ribbons with Bresaola and Arugula. I served them on top of a mixed spring green salad with almonds, Parm cheese and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.

Making the ribbons could not be easier. Mix a couple of eggs really well with a tablespoon or two of water, some salt and pepper. Using a non-stick pan wiped with olive oil make thin crepes of the egg mixture. These cook fast, so keep the heat medium and watch it constantly. Each will take about 30 seconds to a minute to cook and you only have to cook on one side. Layer the cooked crepes, roll them up and cut as you would Pappardelle.