When I put everything that I love about summer on a plate, then it looks everything like this!
Heirloom tomatoes that pack a flavor punch, juicy peaches, fragrant basil and what wouldn’t be made better by some buffalo mozzarella and red onion? Believe you me, this is a magical combination! I roasted the tomatoes, peaches and onions in the oven to bring out even more of that summery sweetness. And then drizzled homemade basil infused olive oil over everything. You guys! So good.
Basil Infused Olive Oil
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Boil a large kettle or big pot of water. Place the basil leaves in a large colander. Over the sink, pour the boiling water over the basil for about 10 seconds, this will blanch it to set the color. Immediately run cold water over the basil to stop the cooking process.
Once cool, remove the basil from the colander and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Press between layers paper towels to ensure it is as dry as possible. Puree the basil with the grapeseed and olive oil in a food processor.
Pour the pureed mixture into a small, light colored metal saucepan (this is is you can see the color of the oil change) on medium heat. Slowly bring the oil mixture to a gentle simmer until it turns a green color. Be careful not to let the oil get too hot, as it will burn the basil. Strain the basil oil through a fine mesh strainer and discard the basil remnants. If you want the oil to be very clear, strain it again through a cheesecloth. Pour oil into a jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring the basil oil to room temperature before serving. Basil oil will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Roasted Peach, Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
2 lb (900 g) Heirloom tomatoes (I used coeur de boeuf tomatoes)
1 large red onion or two small ones (optional)
4 ripe peaches
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Basil infused olive oil
6 oz (300 g) mini buffalo mozzarella balls (if you can’t find buffalo mozzarella, substitute burrata)
Fresh basil leaves as garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).
Prepare a baking sheet by drizzling olive oil on it and spreading it all over with a piece of kitchen paper.
Cut the tomatoes into half inch (1 cm) slices and place them on the baking sheet. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Cut each half into three or four further wedges. Nestle the peaches between the tomatoes. If you find yourself running out of space on your baking sheet, continue on another one. Just be sure to mix tomatoes and peaches so the juices can mingle.
Cut the onion into slices and scatter over the tomatoes and peaches.
Liberally drizzle olive oil all over the contents of the baking sheet(s). Sprinkle with the sea salt.
Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the tomatoes and peaches are soft and juicy.
Let cool slightly. When cooled down, arrange on a plate. Dot with the buffalo mozzarella balls. Drizzle the basil infused olive oil all over.
Crack some fresh black pepper on everything and serve garnished with basil leaves.