Updated: Mar 29
This is the 2nd mystery bag challenge held by the wonderful Cookpad community. To be honest, I am super excited to see what ingredients are in the mystery bag for round 2. Just like the previous challenge, I tried to use as little ingredients as possible; I am using tomatoes and cheese as my main ingredients for this dish.
I was actually kinda brainstorming for ideas while taking a stroll in the local supermarket. Fortunately, I found some cherry tomatoes on the vine! That's when the idea of a caprese salad just popped into my mind. But caprese salad wouldn't be complete without some basil and pesto. I was like a mad man mumbling to myself in the middle of the supermarket aisle, plucking ideas outta thin air. This is how this dish is born.
The embarrassing thing is that I confidently tried to make fresh mozzarella from scratch and I failed horribly. The texture is stringy and rough. Definitely not the smooth and creamy fresh mozzarella that we all love. I was hesitating to discard it away (perhaps I am just lazy to buy one) and decided to eat it anyway. Anyway, it does taste better with all the rest of the ingredients. The moral of the story is, don't make fresh mozzarella from scratch and expect it to work the 1st time around. Lol! On a side note, you can also use burrata. It adds another layer of creaminess to the dish. My daughters asked why not use this as a base for a pasta dish. I was quite blown away by their idea and think it will work like a charm. Stay tuned for the next recipe. In closing, I really hope you will give this simple recipe a try.
Olive Oil, 1/4 Cup
Garlic Thinly Sliced, 1 Clove
Red Chili Deseeded Thinly Sliced, 1
Italian Seasoning, 1/2 TSP
Cherry Tomatoes On The Vine, 12
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Fresh Mozzarella / Burrata, 1 Ball
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Baking Dish / Casserole
Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius or 360 fahrenheit.
In a skillet or pan over the lowest heat possible, add olive oil.
Add in garlic, chili and Italian seasoning.
The garlic should barely be sizzling.
*If the garlic is sizzling, the heat is too high.*
Let the oil infused with the ingredients for about 10 to 15 mins or until the garlic starts to brown.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Brush the infused oil generously onto the cherry tomatoes.
Place the tomatoes onto a baking dish vine side down.
Season with salt and pepper.
Wack into the oven and bake for about 30 to 40 mins or until the tomatoes start to caramelize and blister.
*You can see that the skin splits open and almost fall apart from the flesh.*
Remove from the oven.
Drizzle some of that infused oil onto serving plates.
Slice the mozzarella or burrata ball in halves.
Place the mozzarella onto the oil, cut side down.
Lay the baked tomatoes over the top.
Drizzle any leftover liquid in the baking dish over the dish.
Spoon the garlic, chili and more oil over the top.
Lastly, season with some more salt and pepper.
Here is the recipe video: