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On My Way to Italy

tomato-on-white-logoOn Sunday, May 3, I’ll be meeting my friend at the Philadelphia Airport for our direct flight to Venice, Italy. We’ll be there til June 7; lots of time to sample all kinds of delicious Italian foods. This time, we’re renting an apartment so we’ll be able to prepare some of our own meals as well. We have made several friends there over the years and we are hoping to invite them for dinner. One recipe that I’d love to share is the Tomato Stack Salad recipe – the recipe that actually started the ball rolling on our Top Tomato Cookbook! Here’s a short version of the recipe, which is the first recipe in the cookbook:

Tomato Stack Salad

(This recipe won the First Prize in the Washington Post’s 2009 Top Tomato Contest). Serves 4

Ingredients: 4 large red, ripe tomatoes;1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped; 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese; 1/4 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped; 2 c. Spring Mix lettuce. For the dressing: 1/3 c. sugar; 1/3 c. olive oil; 1/3 c. red wine vinegar/ 1/2 tsp. salt; 1/2 tsp. garlic pepper. Directions:Trim a thin slice from bottoms of each tomato so that they will sit flat. Turn each tomato sideways on cutting board and slice accordion-style into 4 or 5 sections (being careful not to slice completely through the tomato). Mix basil, mozzarella and pecans. Whisk sugar, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle a small amount of the dressing in between each tomato slice to moisten. Stuff in-between each slice the basil-mozzarella-nut mixture. Place a few lettuce leaves on each salad plate, sit each stuffed tomato upright on the lettuce and drizzle with remaining dressing, to taste.

 

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