I’d love to say I came up with his all on my own, but I didn’t. I’m simply trying to recreate an appetizer I used to eat at a restaurant called Tramonti in Delray Beach, FL. My friend Elisa and I went there every week and though our main dishes changed ,two things remained constant; Grilled Mozz and Ruffino Reserva Ducale Ora. (Oh and the fun we would have, nothing beat those dinners) I miss her and those dinners. Just thinking about it makes me want to go visit FL. I loved Tramonti. I STILL love Tramonti.
So this is my attempt to recreate my favorite app of all time. Well favorite other than the Chicken Satay at Terrapin. Because anyone that knows me knows, Terrapin holds a special place in my heart, and always will.
Here you have one of the simplest and most delicious dishes EVER! I’ve changed it up a bit. Originally they used shiitake mushrooms, but I usually use baby bella mushrooms, also I added tomatoes to it, because they really enhance the dish. It is an appetizer but with the mushrooms and tomatoes it is filling could easily be made larger to serve as a superb vegetarian entrée.
Grilled Mozzarella (For one serving)
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- A bunch of fresh basil
- Roasted garlic, an entire bulb, see here for roasting directions
- Mushrooms, whichever kind you prefer, I use about 1/2C per serving
- Olive Oil (I like to use the oil from the roasted garlic)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Tomato, one is enough for 4 servings depending on how much you like tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar
- Slice the Mozzarella about 1″ thick and set aside
- Clean and slice mushrooms, about 1/4″ thick slices
- Pluck basil, about 6 large leaves or 12 small leaves, just slice or tear them and divide into two piles.
- Heat a small saute pan on medium
- Add about a tablespoon of olive oil and toss in about 1/2C of sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, then add in a few (4 or so) cloves of the roasted garlic, allow to continue cooking uncovered
- Heat an additional small non stick skillet on medium heat
- Cut the tomato into bite sized pieces and season with a little salt and pepper (I also add balsamic vinegar)
- Toss half the basil in with the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so, if you aren’t sure how done the mushrooms are just try one 🙂 When they are done turn the heat off, cover and set aside
- Once the additional skillet is heated place the 1″ thick piece of mozzarella in it, it will sizzle
- Cover, reduce heat to low and allow to cook
- After about 5 minutes check the bottom using a spatula, it should be golden in color, and the top should be creamy and starting to melt
- Flip the cheese, and still on low allow to cook for another 3 minutes or so. Use your finger to check for doneness. The cheese will feel “squishy” when done. You don’t need to brown this side, and you do not want it to cook so much it hardens, the goal is just to soften the remaining cheese
- Transfer to a plate, top with the mushroom mixture and tomatoes, drizzle some balsamic on the plate, sprinkle the remaining basil and va bene!
I hope you enjoy this simple and delicious dish as much as I do. And when you do try it, I would love to hear what you think of it 🙂