Images: Petrina Tinslay
Enjoy Nigella Lawson's tomatoes, mozzarella and basil recipe, her way.
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp regular olive oil
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 4 to 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 to 11/2 tsp good red wine vinegar
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella (preferably buffalo)
1 Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2 In a small roasting pan in which the tomatoes will fit snugly (I use a tarte tatin pan), arrange the tomatoes cut-side up.
3 Going over each tomato half, one by one, grind a little pepper and sprinkle on a little salt and the oregano, then dribble the tablespoon of olive oil over and transfer the pan to the oven to cook for 25 minutes; check at 20 just in case the tomatoes are softened and wilted by then.
4 Remove from the oven and let cool. (They can be left at room temperature for about 4 hours.)
5 To make the sauce, put the basil leaves, 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the vinegar plus a small sprinkle of salt into a suitable bowl or cup, and blend to a deep green purée with an immersion blender.
6 Add another 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil as needed to form a not-entirely-smooth brilliant green paste that can be poured; taste to see if you want the remaining ½ teaspoon vinegar or more salt, and blend in if so.
7 Tear the mozzarella into pieces and arrange on a platter with the tomatoes. Drizzle the basil dressing over them, and your creation is ready to be served.
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes.
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Excerpted from Nigellissima. Copyright © 2013 Nigella Lawson. Published by Knopf Canada, an imprint of the Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group, which is a division of Random House of Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.