Fresh Mozzarella with Roasted Vegetables, Pesto, Tomatoes and White Balsamic
Courtesy of Chef Michael Williams at The Perennial Chef
Vegetables for Roasting:
1 Medium Eggplant Peeled and cut into 1” dice
1 Lemon juiced
2 Quarts Water
1.5 Tbs. Kosher Salt
(Combine water, salt and lemon Juice. Add eggplant and allow to soak for one hour. Remove eggplant from acidulated water and squeeze gently to remove excess water and bitterness.)
3 Large Portobello Mushrooms peeled and sliced 1/3” thick
2 Medium Zucchinis Sliced at bias 1/3” thick to a 2.5” lengthGarlic Marinade for Vegetables:
1.5 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic
Process garlic and oil in mini food processor/chopper finely & reserve.
1 lb.Fresh Mozzarella Ball Cut into 1/3” Slices (About 8 Slices)
Season with Kosher Salt and Pepper according to taste and cover with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
1/2 cup Basil packed and Julienned 1 clove Garlic, Minced
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
1-2 Tbs Pine Nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Place above in mini food chopper and process until combined.)
1.5 cups Grape Tomatoes Quartered
1.5 cups White Balsamic Vinegar reduced by simmering to 1/2 cup.
Lightly season Eggplant, Portobello, and Zucchinis separately in a mixing bowl with salt & pepper and approximately 1/2 cup of the vegetable marinade for each type. Spread vegetables evenly onto 3 baking pans lined with parchment and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 12-18 minutes until light golden brown and soft. The Zucchinis will be first, then Portobello and Eggplant. Remove items from oven and allow them to cool to room Temp. Check for seasoning and add more salt & pepper according to taste. Place quartered grape tomatoes in a bowl and season “heavily” with Salt and Pepper and toss. Allow to rest 15 minutes and drain bowl of released tomato water to prevent dilution of the white balsamic reduction and reserve.Building the appetizer:
Center 3-4 slices of the roasted Portobello onto a plate. Add a slice of fresh Mozza- rella on the Mushrooms. Center 3/4 tablespoon of Pesto onto Mozzarella slice and top with the diced eggplant. Add the Balsamic Reduction to the grape tomatoes with a touch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and with a spoon place a dollop on the Eggplant. Drizzle a bit of Pesto and olive oil onto appetizer and serve.
Lugana–Trebbiano Grapes make a fresh, crisp white from the Lake Garda district in Northern Italy.