As suggested by Bella’s Momma, I am going to start doing posts of some of my favorite recipes. The title will always be “Cooking With Garlic” even though not every recipe will include garlic….I am the garlic in “Half Gaelic, Half Garlic” so I thought the name was very fitting.
This weeks recipe is tried and true…..it is sure to be a winner at any gathering or just for two!
Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Roasted Red Peppers on Baguette
1 Baguette Bread(White, Wheat or Multigrain)
1 Ball of Fresh Mozzarella(It must be fresh, not pastuerized)
3 Ripe Tomatoes(I usually use vine or roma tomatoes)
1 Jar of Roasted Red Peppers(packed in water, not oil)
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
Crushed Red Pepper
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
How to Prepare:
Seasoned Olive Oil: In a small dish, pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, add to that, one clove of garlic minced and crushed, a shake of red pepper flakes, two shakes of Italian Seasoning, a pinch salt and pepper, and a couple of basil leaves chopped really small, I believe the correct term is chiffonade. Set this aside.
Next, take 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and simmer it in a pan for about 20 minutes on low. It should reduce and thicken to about 1/4 cup…it should look more like a syrup when it is done. Keep a close eye on this so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.
Slice your mozarella, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers.
Slice your baguette bread, brush or drizzle with a little plain olive oil(not the seasoned olive oil)and put them in the oven at about 450 degrees for about 5 minutes on each side or until they start to get a little crispy. Keep a close eye on this too…every oven is different and it depends on how thin or thick you slice your bread.
When they come out of the oven, while they are still hot, rub them with a whole clove of garlic. Just peel the clove and rub it on the bread, the oil of the garlic will seep into the bread, without having to consume the raw garlic. I usually have 2 cloves ready, depending on how much bread you use.
Now it is time to plate! I usually put the bread in a bowl, then on a flat platter, I arrange and salt and pepper the tomatoes, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers. After that, I spoon the seasoned olive oil mixture over them. Next, I sparingly spoon the balsamic reduction over the cheese, tomatoes, and peppers. Do not go overboard…it is strong…a little goes a long way. I usually put the extra balsamic on the side with a spoon incase someone wants to add a little more.
I also take a nice sprig of Basil and place it on the platter…..it makes it look extra special!
This is one of our all time favorite things to eat on a Sunday afternoons……of course it is ten times better when paired with a glass or a bottle:) of Red Wine……Cabernet is usually our pick!
I hope you all like it as much as we do……if you have any questions, send me an email!