Chef Joe Cipro's Recipe of the Week

Cherry Tomato & Mozzarella Salad




Ingredients (serves 4)

12 cherry tomatoes (sliced)

1 lb ball of fresh mozzarella

(sliced)

1 lb bunch of basil

1/4 c olive oil

1/2 clove of garlic

2 tsp sea salt

1/4 c grated parmesan

1/2 c balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1 lemon (juiced)

1 head of Bibb lettuce

(washed and sliced thin)

Directions

Begin by reducing the balsamic vinegar by half on medium-low heat, stirring often. While this is happening, boil a medium sized pot of water. Pick the basil leaves from the stem and set up a small bowl of ice water.

When the water boils, throw in the basil leaves. Give them a quick dunk and then put into the ice water immediately.

When the leaves are completely cool, remove them from the ice water and gently squeeze off any excess water.

In a blender, puree the olive oil and garlic on high. Add the basil a little at a time until a bright green basil puree is created.

Use a little ice water if the mixture becomes too thick to blend. Place the basil in a bowl and fold in the grated parmesan cheese. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to your liking.

At this point, the balsamic vinegar is likely reduced by half. When it is, mix in the honey and cool for 20 minutes.

While the balsamic glaze is cooling, begin assembling the salad by placing the tomato and mozzarella.

Put a small handful of the Bibb salad dressed with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice in the center. Spoon over some of the pesto and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Finish with a bit of sea salt and enjoy.