Bearded Fella Soficella


By: Jim Gage

Waterloo, WI

This appetizer is easy and elegant, takes advantages of summer and fall veggies and herbs, and has lots of options.  Each piece serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

1 lg. Tomato, 4-6”
1 8-oz. ball of Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics- fresh Mozzarella
Herb Mixture (see below)

  1. Cut the top half off of a large 4-6” tomato – set aside the stem side of the fruit.  Hollow out the insides of the bottom half to create a tomato bowl.
  2. Take a Crave Brothers 8 oz ball of mozzarella (called a soficella in Italian) and also cut it width-wise.   Fit the cheese inside the tomato bowl – this may require you to shave off a little bit of the cheese to round off the edges.  Place on the side while you mix other ingredients.
  3. Prepare one of the three mixtures described below.
  4. Place the tomato bowl/cheese on an 8-10” plate.  Take a very sharp knife and cut the cheese and tomato into six sections.  Let them naturally separate and spread on the plate.
  5. Spoon the mixture around the tomato/cheese.  Take 1-2 spoons of the mixture and spread over the top of the cheese.
  6. Serve the mixture at room temperature so that the cheese as a chance to absorb some of the flavors of each mixture.  Serve on top of a thinly sliced fresh French baguette.

 

Mixtures:  There are many options for the tomato/herb mixtures --- the choices below provide the host a way to create three different tastes for a wide variety of guests.

Mild Mix (pictured)

  1. Finely chop cilantro, celery, and parsley leaves – you need ¼ cup.  Take the top half of the tomato and finely chop – should be about one cup.  Finely chop ¼ cup new onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic (I always use 2, but I’m me…).  Place all in bowl.
  2. Squeeze into the bowl juice from ½ lime
  3. Add  ½ tsp red vinegar, ½ tsp olive oil (or Driftless Organics Sunflower oil is a nutty alternative), a pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
  4. Mix all and spoon.

Three basil mix (Thai, lemon, and purple)

  1. Finely chop all of the basils together – the three provide some very interesting flavors together compared to the typical Italian basil – you again need ¼ cup.  Take the top half of the tomato and finely chop – should be about one cup.  Finely chop ¼ cup new onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic.  Place all in bowl.
  2. Squeeze into the bowl juice from 1/4 – 1/2  lemon
  3. Add  ½ tsp red vinegar, ½ tsp olive oil (or Driftless Organics Sunflower oil is a nutty alternative), a pinch of salt, and a tsp of honey .
  4. Mix all and spoon.

Jalapeño mix

  1. Finely chop one fresh jalapeno pepper – if you want it hotter leave the seeds and chop them with the outside  – you will get about 1/8 cup.  Take the top half of the tomato and finely chop – should be about one cup.  Finely chop ¼ cup new onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic.  Place all in bowl.
  2. Add  ½ tsp red vinegar, ½ tsp olive oil (or Driftless Organics Sunflower oil is a nutty alternative), fresh thyme leaves (about one Tbls), and 1 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
  3. Mix all and spoon.
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