It’s tomato time pretty much everywhere. Be here now - don’t let the moment pass you by - make hay while the sun shines - I’m sure there are lots of other corny reminders out there. Point is, if you love tomatoes, eat them now!
I love panzanella and decided to build the same concept into an appetizer for a recent party. The ingredients are the same; heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a sourdough baguette. The local heroes are McEvoy Ranch Aged Balsamic Vinegar, McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pt. Reyes Farmstead Fresh Mozzarella and a Della Fattoria baguette. The farmers market is the best place, unless you are growing your own, to find tomatoes and basil. Markets that purchase local produce are the next best bet. Your choices will be abundant and beautiful now.
Here is a recipe that will create approximately 40 “bite size” (they are actually a couple of bites) appetizers - quick and easy.
1 sourdough baguette - 22” long
¾ cup McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided) plus some for drizzling
3 # Heirloom and cherry tomato mix, cherry tomatoes cut in half or quarters if large, heirloom tomatoes cut into small to medium dice
½ cup basil chiffonade, more if you are a big basil lover
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 tablespoons McEvoy Ranch Aged Balsamic Vinegar
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
Maldon flake sea salt
Heat oven to 350 F.
Slice baguette into 40 slices approximately ⅛” thick.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with ¼ cup olive oil.
Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.
Mix tomatoes, basil, Kosher salt, vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil.
Dress mozzarella with ¼ cup olive oil.
Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of tomato mixture onto each toast, top with mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with flake sea salt.
So simple - so beautiful - so summer!
My guests enjoyed these - equally divided - with McEvoy Ranch Saimuun 2016 Vermentino and McEvoy Ranch 2014 Azaya Pinot Noir (which, by the way, is drinking beautifully right now!).