tomato mozzarella tower with tapenade and basil dressing

tomato and mozzarella is the classic appetizer. it is so simple and delicious! recently i made a tomato-only appetizer with olive-pesto dressing, which also is a nice side dish.

this one is a combo of the two – tomato and mozzarella stacked on top of each other but with a spread of tapendade and an awesome basil dressing.

it is not only an easy prep appetizer, it is also flavorful and beautiful – guaranteed to impress the eye and the taste buds.

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, (beefsteak, yellow, and heirloom), sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • Tapenade, store-bought or recipe below
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves and sprigs, for layering and for garnish

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 12 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, prepare the dressing. Whisk together vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and then stir in the basil. Set aside.

Place a tomato slice on a plate and spread with some of the tapenade. Then place a slice of the mozzarella on top, add a few basil leaves, and finish with another tomato slice. You can add another layer to make Napoleon as high as you desire. Top with another small spoonful of the tapenade and then drizzle the Sweet Basil Dressing over the tomato and around the plate.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and repeat to make 4 to 6 plates.

________________________________________________________________________________
original recipe from Boy Meets Grill: Stacked Tomato Salad with Black Olive Tapenade and Sweet Basil Dressing

TAPENADE

Tapenade Ingredients

  • 2 cups kalamata or nicoise olives, pitted
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Tapenade Preparation

Combine olives, garlic, anchovies and pine nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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