Posted by Ethne~
Remember our post here from Girls Trip last year where we made Joyce Tomatoes – tomato slices, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper? Dalish.
Well, the dish is turning into a GT must-have when we cook our meal together, and this year we decided to give it our own twist. While out shopping, Steph grabbed a vacuum-packed bag of small fresh mozzarella balls to add to our Joyce Tomatoes. Add cheese? Of course!
In order to marinate things all together, we decided to cut the tomatoes into large bite-size pieces and put them into a bowl, rather than flat slices on a plate. Just something different.
And since we needed to buy dried basil anyway, we decided to buy fresh basil at the farm stand we stopped at when we purchased fresh sweet corn. They were a friendly-type sort so they decided to sell us the whole basil plant, and then threw in an extra basil plant for free – all for the bargain price of $2.
So in went the fresh basil – which we washed and then tore the leaves into pieces instead of cutting. It releases the flavors better than if the leaves are cut with a knife. I don’t remember where I learned that, but doesn’t it sound fancy?
Our recipe is an eye-ball method, but if you’d like to try it, here’s an approximation of what we did:
3 large organic tomatoes (those were the best price), largely diced
10-12 small orange grape tomatoes (we had a coupon), halved
1 package small mozzarella balls
10 large basil leaves, torn into pieces (if you don’t have fresh basil, use 2 teaspoons dried basil; dried herbs are stronger than fresh)
½-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½-2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
sea salt or kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
The reason I gave a range of the oil and vinegar is that I usually start with the smaller end of the amount and then add more if I think it needs more for flavor. For example, if it seems like there is too much vinegar bite, you can put a little more olive oil in and that will balance things out. Or if it seems like there isn’t enough flavor, add in a little more vinegar.
Let marinate for an hour at room temperature.
|It was so fast, quick, and delish that this was the ONLY photo Lori took of the entire process!|
Friends, these tomatoes and cheese barely made it to the dinner table. We all had forks out and were eating out of the marinating bowl as we cooked the rest of our dinner. It was so good.