The chef at one of my previous places of employment couldn't properly pronounce "caprese" if his life depended on it. Fortunately, that didn't stop him from having the best knack for perfectly combining flavors of anyone I've ever met.
Enough about him, let's talk about me! I've been on what can only be described as a caprese rampage over the past month or so. The trigger for this obsession was my first taste of fresh basil from our garden. I've been looking hard for places to use it, and it often ends up combined with tomatoes or mozzarella, and usually both. Those people of Capri really knew what they were doing when they joined those three ingredients.
My brother and sister-in-law recently gave us 3 dozen eggs from their chickens, so frittatas, quiches, and egg-focused breakfasts (and breakfasts for dinner) have been staples of late. For this frittata, I made use of that wonderful and addictive caprese blend and added sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and grated mozzarella. The flavors were great, though the structure of the egg pie was, shall we say, weak. I didn't think about it at the time, but a drizzle of balsamic reduction would've been an awesome finishing touch.
Because I've become so enchanted by the medley of mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes, I've issued myself a challenge: Make a caprese concoction using basil and tomatoes from our own garden and mozzarella made from scratch in my kitchen. I've purchased a mozzarella-making kitand plan to tackle this endeavor immediately! By the time I've mastered mozzarella, hopefully our tomatoes will be ripe and ready to pick! Stay tuned...
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat an 8-inch ovenproof, nonstick skillet (cast-iron is great!) over medium heat. Add the olive oil and tomatoes.
Season the tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until they are soft and beginning to fall apart, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk, basil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper and whisk together until light.
Pour the egg mixture over the tomatoes, sprinkle with the mozzarella, and bake for 45-60 minutes, until browned and just a little bit jiggly. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.