Winter Caprese Salad
Adapted from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-caprese-salad-240203
YIELD Makes 8 servings
12 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise in half
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 cups fresh basil leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
4 tablespoons pine nuts
8 large bocconcini (from buffalo mozzarella) or 2 pounds buffalo mozzarella, cut into quarters
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/2 cup of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place cut side down on a small baking sheet and bake for about 2 hours, or until the tomatoes are softened.
3. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool.
4. Transfer the cooled tomatoes to a colander and set aside to drain while you make the pesto.
5. Combine the garlic and Parmigiano in a blender and pulse until the garlic is roughly chopped. Add the basil and pulse 7 or 8 times, or until the leaves are shredded. With the blender running, slowly add the remaining 1 cup olive oil, blending until smooth.
6. Toast the pine nuts in an 8-inch sauté pan over medium heat, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
7. To serve, arrange 3 tomato halves cut side down on each plate. Place a ball of mozzarella in the center and spoon 2 tablespoons of the pesto onto each ball of mozzarella. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and garnish with basil leaves.