Fresh mozzarella with tomatoes is everywhere, even in the dead of a Minnesota winter, when it shouldn’t be. We’ve all seen slabs of rubbery cheese layered with slabs of grainy-pale tomato objects and wondered what on earth happened to this pretty salad.
Certainly in the summer, when tomatoes are ripe, the two can be lovely together, but I’m a bit of a fresh mozzarella purist. Addict even. Really good, fresh mozzarella has such a soft, milky taste, a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, at once both silky and toothsome (not rubbery), that it hurts me a little to smother it with the acidic juiciness of tomatoes, even good ones.
Caprese blasphemy? Perhaps, but try it this way, simply warmed atop eggs and fresh basil, and you might agree.
Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Frittata
extra-virgin olive oil
4 large, organic eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat broiler. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into the pan, then swirl in the eggs. Using a rubber spatula, as the eggs cook, push them toward the center of the pan and tilt the pan so uncooked eggs run to the edges of the pan. When the bottom of the eggs are set, but the top is still moist (which takes just a couple of minutes), remove the pan from heat.
Lay slices of mozzarella over the top of the eggs. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Scatter half the basil leaves over the top and finish with another generous drizzle of olive oil. Slide pan under the broiler for a minute or two, until cheese just melts and eggs puff up and are set (watch carefully, this happens fast!).
Remove from oven. Scatter remaining basil leaves over the top and finish with several grinds of black pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.