- 3 to 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes plus 1/2 tomato, cut into 4 wedges*
- Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
- 4 fresh mozzarella cheese bocconcini, each 1 inch diameter
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- About 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, basil-flavored (optional)
- 8 large fresh basil leaves, cut into very fine chiffonade
Chill Martini Glasses in the freezer or refrigerate an hour ahead of serving. NOTE: For the most stunning presentation, make sure the glasses are heavily frosted (a freezer gives a heavy frost).
Peel, seed, and chop the tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper; place in a sieve suspended over a bowl and refrigerate for several hours. As the tomatoes release their juice, it will fall into the bowl, giving you an almost gin-clear liquid with lots of flavor. If the tomato water is not clear, pour it through a fine mesh strainer. Season the tomato water to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until very cold. Reserve the tomato pulp for another use.
Halve or quarter the fresh mozzarella bocconcini if they are larger than 1 inch in diameter. Thread a tomato wedge, a bocconcini piece, and a cherry tomato onto each of 4 wooden skewers 4 to 5 inches long. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with basil oil, if desired.
Working quickly, divide the tomato liquid among the chilled martini glasses. Balance the skewers on top of the glasses, then sprinkle the basil chiffonade over the skewers. Serve immediately.
To make an alcohol drink: Into the chilled martini glasses, measure 2 parts tomato water to 1 part chilled vodka.
Makes 4 servings.
* It is impossible to give a specific amount for the tomatoes because how much "water" a tomato releases depends on many factors, including the growing season and the variety. You will need enough tomato water to fill your martini glasses, so measure their capacity, probably something between 5 and 9 ounces each.
Source: This recipe and photo are from the Tra Vigne Cookbook by Michael Chiarello.
Categories:Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Appetizers International Regional Foods Italian Recipes Summer Tomato Appetizers Tomatoes Vegetarian Appetizers