Roasting intensifies the sweetness of tomatoes and complements the soft silkiness of the cheese in this dish. Add a punchy dressing and this can be served as an entrée, side dish or as a light meal on its own.
36 cherry tomatoes, with stem end on if possible
12 x 10 cm wooden skewers
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 x 200 gram balls fresh mozzarella in whey, drained (I used Clevedon Valley Buffalo)
large handful rocket
¼ cup pine nuts, roasted
1 red shallot, thinly sliced
¼ cup each basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Thread the tomatoes onto the skewers and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Roast for 4-5 minutes or until the skins just start to split, but the tomatoes aren’t collapsing.
Season with salt and pepper then set aside to cool.
Dressing: Use a mortar and pestle to grind the herbs, garlic and salt to a thick paste. Stir in the oil, lemon juice and season with pepper.
To serve: Break the mozzarella into pieces and arrange on a large platter with the tomato skewers and rocket. Scatter over the pine nuts and shallot. Give the dressing a stir and spoon over the mozzarella. Drizzle the tomatoes with a little olive oil.
Christmas Menu: Serve with a Miso, Mirin and Spring Onion Baked Salmon and Spiced Orange and Hoisin Glazed Ham to start. Herb-Crusted Fillet of Beef with Cherry Mostada or a Duck and Orange Salad with Smoky Orange Dressing for mains. Mixed Green Vegetable Salad with Sesame Yoghurt Dressing, Three Cheese and Truffle Stuffed Rolls and Crispy Roasted Potatoes and Fennel with Gremolata and Parmesan on the side. Ice Cream Bonbons and Lemon Meringue Cake to finish.