|My husband calls this: "Git in my BELLY!!!"|
Once, my sister was riding home on the bus and the young lady sitting in front of her was talking to her friend about how good something tasted. She said, and I quote, "Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl, it be tastin' so gooooooood, it make you wanna turn around and smack yo' Mama."
Now, I love my Mama. No one holds their Mother in higher esteem than the esteem in which I hold my Mama. But, I'm tellin' you what: if anything COULD make me want to turn around and smack my Mama, this might be it.
And since it is full blown tomato and basil season, MAKE THIS NOW!!! Could I be any clearer?
I served this the night of the Great Reptilian Uninvited Dinner Guest. Now, don't let this put you off, but this is so good, it COULD be what drew him to the door.
A few recipe notes: I'm skimping on the bacon these days due to The Big Bison's (my dear husband's) heart attack, but you might not want to. I'm also going light on olive oil for the same reason. Do what you feel you need to do. You're going to use some of the bacon grease to fry bread in (yes! fry bread!) for flavor. You need enough oil/fat to make a warm vinaigrette, and the ratio is usually 1 part vinegar to 3 parts fat, although some cooks do a 1:4 ratio. To make this more heart healthy, if you already have your grill fired up, you could rub the bread with garlic and then grill it briefly, and then drizzle it lightly with some olive oil. Just giving you options!
Heirloom Tomatoes with Bacon, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil
1 baguette, thinly sliced
4 slices of bacon
6 T. olive oil
1/4 c. finely chopped shallot
3 T. sherry vinegar
4 assorted medium heirloom tomatoes, (2 lbs. total), cut into 1/4 " slices (or chopped cherry tomatoes)
30 small fresh basil leaves
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into medallions that will fit your baguette slices
Cook bacon in a 10" heavy skillet over moderate heat until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off bacon fat from skillet and reserve fat (do not clean skillet).
Heat 1 1/2 T. oil in skillet over moderate heat, until hot but not smoking. Sauté as many of the baguette slices as will fit in one layer in the pan, turning over once, until golden brown. This takes about 3 minutes. Transfer toasts to a rack to cool and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining baguette slices.
Cook shallot in 2 T. reserved bacon fat and remaining 3 T. oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, and simmer, whisking, until emulsified, about 1 minute. Season dressing with salt and pepper and keep warm, covered.
Crumble bacon. Arrange baguette slices on large plate and place one piece of fresh mozzarella on each piece of toast. Top with tomatoes, sprinkle with basil and bacon. Spoon the warm bacon dressing over and around each slice, and season with salt and pepper.
Oh, you are going to so thank me for this. I offer this, one of my most favorite recipes ever, freely, with the greatest of love. Enjoy!