Roasted tomato purée:
1 cup oven roasted tomatoes (or 1 cup of sun dried tomatoes)
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh Mozzarella and vine ripe tomato stacks:
2 pounds fresh mozzarella*, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes* (or 4 6 medium tomatoes), cut into ¼-inch slices
Macerated Tomato Salad:
1 pint of grape tomatoes (yellow or red)
¾ – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ – ½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, removed from stems
*Make sure you have enough to put 3 slices of cheese and 3 slices of tomato on each stack.
For roasted tomato purée:
Place all ingredients in a blender and purée. Salt to taste.
For mozzarella and tomato stacks:
Lay slices of mozzarella and tomatoes out flat on a cutting board or tray and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use three pieces of each to build stacks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For tomato salad:
Slice grape tomatoes in half and place in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, and thyme. The tomatoes should be covered in olive oil-balsamic liquid. Let mixture sit in refrigerator overnight.
To assemble, place about 1 Tablespoon of tomato purée in bowl or the center of plate, place about 2 Tablespoons of the macerated tomato salad on top of the purée. Place one stack of tomato and cheese on top of tomato salad. Garnish with fresh basil.
Make the mozzarella and tomato stacks ahead of time and wrap each one individually in plastic wrap. Place wrapped stacks in a large, deep plastic container with a lid so they do not get crushed. Put the tomato purée salad and the tomato salad, including the marinade, in separate plastic containers. Assemble the salad in a bowl or on a plate once you get to your picnic destination.
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Chef Ron Reda of Dish Washington, DC
Adapted by StarChefs