I took a little road trip last week. I drove to Minnesota for a couple of restaurant shoots (more to come on those) and also got to spend some quality time with my Mom while I was there. My mom lives in rural Minnesota about 10 miles north of Rochester in a small town called Oronoco. She likes to say, if you’re driving by and sneeze, you might miss it.
She still lives in the house that I grew up in, so it’s always fun to go back and visit. One of my favorite parts of the house is the big deck that faces the backyard. Half of it is covered by the roof and the other half extends beyond the roof if you want to get some sun. It serves as a great “sitting/eating area” where you are surrounded by the smell of pine and the sounds of rural living. It’s a quiet energy that I find myself craving more often as I get older.
As we pondered what to nibble on while we sipped our wine on the deck, I decided to make Caprese Toast for us. Before I left for Minnesota, I noticed that our Green Zebra tomato plant had a couple of tomatoes that had turned very red. I read that this is normal with some varieties, but that they could taste a little more tangy. I brought them with me so I could put them to good use before they expired. This recipe is sort of a non-recipe too… you can make it however you want, but I include my version below. It’s the simple and delicious flavors of tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic on top of crunchy toast.
Overall, my trip was a really nice combination of work and play. I’m happy to be back home with Mike and I’m very excited to share my restaurant shoots with you in upcoming posts. For the next couple of days, I’ll be camping out with my computer, my favorite tea and listening to Barefoot Contessa episodes while I finalize my editing. Does anyone else find her as calming as I do?
2 medium Green Zebra tomatoes, thinly sliced
Note: Use any kind of tomatoes you’d like.
Fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Fresh basil, roughly chopped
Note: Reserve some fresh whole basil leaves
Ezekiel bread, lightly toasted
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Thinly slice the tomatoes and place slices on a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of dried Oregano.
4. Roast the tomatoes for 10-15 minutes and remove from oven.
5. Toast the slices of Ezekiel bread until desired crispiness.
6. Drizzle toasts with olive oil.
7. Layer the mozzarella, whole basil leaves and tomatoes on top of the toast.
8. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
9. Garnish with chopped basil, if desired.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.