Simple, elegant, delicious, and effortless. This stunner of a salad, made with romaine lettuce, fresh buffalo mozzarella balls, and whole cherry tomatoes, was put together for me by vintner Alessio DiMajo, who with his father, Luigi, makes some pretty impressive DiMajo Norante wines in the region of Molise. What is so astounding about the dish is the way the salad is arranged and the quality of the ingredients used. It comes together in no time at all and will make a statement for your next dinner party. The recipe can be adjusted up or down. Substitute fior di latte (cow's milk mozzarella) for the buffalo mozzarella.
2 very fresh heads Romaine lettuce
16 small whole balls of fresh mozzarella (fior di latte) cheese
16 whole cherry tomatoes
1 small bunch basil leaves
Fine sea salt
Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Cut off the core ends of the heads of lettuce and separate the leaves. Use the whole inner leaves since they are crisper. Wash and dry them. You will need 8 leaves for this recipe. Line a large round platter with the leaves n a circular pattern so that the bottom ends point to the center of the platter.
Place 2 mozzarella balls in the center of each of the leaves. Add two cherry tomatoes at the top of each leaf. Arrange the bunch of basil in the center of the platter.
Pass the platter and allow each person to take one of the leaves and some of the basil.
Pass the salt and olive oil on the side.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA PRONTO by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2005.
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