Thursday, August 6, 2009

Stuffed & Roasted Tomato Margherita Salad

I love the combination of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese in traditional Caprese salad. This is a delicious twist on that classic that mimics my favorite Margherita pizza with the added fresh basil. In each bite, you'll taste the rich, creamy mozzarella with the smoky flavor of the roasted tomato and crunchy seasoned breadcrumbs - yum! I eat it slow with my eyes closed to truly experience this heavenly mix of flavors and textures. This recipe can be enjoyed by one person for lunch or share it with a friend to accompany a meal.

My Stuffed & Roasted Tomato Margherita Salad
(Makes 1 lunch-size serving or 2 side dish servings)

1 ripe tomato (I prefer a plum tomato)
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Italian-style breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese
2 cups green leaf lettuce
1 tablespoon fresh basil, torn into small pieces (or dried, if you don’t have fresh)
10 sprays of Wishbone Red Wine Mist Salad Spritzer (or 2 teaspoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing of your choice)
1 ounce of sliced, fresh mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Wash and pat dry tomato. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out with spoon and discard pulp. Lay cut side down on paper towel to drain for 5 minutes or pat inside dry with paper towel.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Add tomatoes and toss until well coated. Remove tomato halves to small baking pan with cut side up, leaving olive oil mixture in bowl.

3. To the oil mixture, add the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Stir breadcrumbs and oil together until crumbs are coated and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Divide evenly into tomato halves and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, tear lettuce into bite-size pieces, place on serving plate and add basil. Top with dressing and toss. Cut mozzarella into two slices, place on lettuce leaves and garnish with freshly ground pepper. When tomatoes are roasted and stuffing is golden brown, place on salad and enjoy!

Nutritional Information per lunch-size salad: 201 calories, 8.6 g carbohydrates, 15.2 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 2.5 g fiber, 7.8 g protein (If serving as 2 side salads, divide nutritional information in half to calculate per serving.)

Original Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

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