When my sweetheart told me he lives on this luscious Italian dish all summer, I had to try it. One stop at the Farmers’ Market and we had all we needed: a ripe juicy tomato, some creamy mozzarella, and pungent fresh basil. We made the stacks in no time flat and after one heavenly bite, I knew why it is his favorite summer meal: Classic Tomato Mozzarella Stacks are ridiculously simple to make, you don’t have to heat up the kitchen to make them, and they taste like the essence of summer. Divine!
Per person (just multiply to feed the hordes)
1 medium to large ripe tomato (depending on how hungry you are, and if this is an appetizer or the main meal) cut into 1/4-inch-thick round slices
2 to 3 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 fresh basil leaf
Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
A few grinds of black pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt to taste
1 slice of baguette (optional, but the bread makes a nice base to soak up the tomato juices)
1. Alternate slices of tomato and cheese in a stack and top with a basil leaf. (If you want to use bread, you can either lightly toast a slice or leave it plain, and place the stack on top of it.)
2. Drizzle with olive oil, top with salt and pepper, and serve.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).