Friday Recipe of the Week – Tomato and Mozzarella

Some may call it wine and cheese, but we like to call it Happy Hour! Every Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00-6:00, we enjoy a wine and cheese and more happy hour with our guests. It allows everyone to get to know each other better. Everyone loosens up and after a few minutes, its like we have known each other for years. Kind of like friends coming for a visit.

Every weekend it depends on the size of the crowd on what we serve. Sometimes it is just cheese and sausage and sometimes I like to get more creative. Tonight we will be having a extra sharp cheddar and swiss with summer sausage and crackers, white bean and roasted red pepper hummas (recipe to follow at another time) served with flax tortilla chips and my famous tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and reduced balsamic bruschetta .

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Fresh Mozzarella (half dollar size, cut in half), fresh whole leaf basil (grilled), cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half, fresh shredded parmesan, 1 C balsamic oil, and 2 TB brown sugar.

Once your fresh mozzarella is cut in half, sit on a plate that you would like to serve from.  Add fresh basil leaf to the top of the mozzarella. I like to grill mine for just a few seconds for a little crunch. If you do this, brush with olive oil first though, otherwise it is just as good without grilling. Add tomato half on top of basil leaf. Sprinkle fresh parmesan over the top and then drizzle or reduced balsamic oil over everything for a touch of sweetness.

Reduced balsamic recipe

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat and bring up to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the liquids until they’ve reduced by about half and are thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Save whatever you do not use in a squeeze bottle in the refrig for future use.