I’m in the mood for cheese.

Fantsy-Pantsy Caprese Toasts

I rock my few vices hard. I smoke like a salmon, will probably die from aspartame, and have a penchant for cheeses that blur the line between cream and butter. My version of a dirty weekend involves an empty house, a BBC Victorian miniseries, four baguettes, and two wheels of Camembert or triple créme. When it comes to cooking, however, I find a big fresh ball of mozzarella yields some of the most gratifying results. Mrs. H, who you’ll remember from the post before last, tipped me off to freezing mozzarella before grating to avoid the mangled cheese limb effect. For the following hors d’oeuvres, I prefer slicing the mozzarella into thin chunks for a more rustic presentation. I don’t know if buffalo mozzarella makes a huge difference, but I think we can agree that it’s fun to imagine someone milking a water buffalo.

1 French baguette
1 1/2 C seeded and diced plum tomatoes
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 C fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced into thin chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine the tomatoes, basil, 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Wrap it up and stick it the fridge for an hour.

Set the over to 350. Take a bite of the tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Slice the baguette into 1/2″-thick rounds and place them on a cookie sheet. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, then saute the garlic for a minute until it softens, but don’t let it burn. Brush the baguette slices with the garlic oil, pile each with a few tablespoons of tomatoes, and top with two mozzarella chunks. Bake at 350 until the mozzarella melts and just starts to show some flecks of brown.

These cool quickly, so start shoveling.

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