Mozzarella, Tomato and Green Bean Salad

It’s heirloom tomato time. Tomato heaven. Peachtree Circle Farm even has a small yellow tomato that’s fuzzy. Close your eyes and cup it in your hand; it could be an apricot. Bite into it – and it’s most definitely, assertively, a tomato. For this week’s recipe, choose a variety of tomatoes, including cherries, with an eye for different shapes, sizes, colors and flavors–so you get a nice mix of candy-like sweetness, bright acidity and almost smoky tomato complexity all in the same salad.

Mozzarella, Tomato and Green Bean Salad

  • 1 egg (about 6 oz.) of fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
  • A handful (2 oz. or so) slender green beans, trimmed
  • A colorful mix of heirloom tomatoes (between 8-12 oz.)

Flavored oil:

  • 1 small fresh clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. very finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 Tbs. delicious olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. very finely chopped red chili pepper

For flavored oil: mash finely chopped garlic with fresh oregano and salt in a mortar and pestle to bruise herbs and reduce garlic to a paste. No mortar and pestle? Use a small sturdy bowl and a beach stone with a blunt-nosed pestle-like shape. Or mash everything as best you can by pressing with the back of a spoon.

Stir in olive oil and flecks of red chili. (Salty dressing will become diluted by tomato juices.) Lay a line of sliced mozzarella on a platter. Drizzle with a little flavored oil.

Cook beans in boiling water for 6 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Cool in icy water; dry well in a paper towel and slice beans in half with a diagonal cut. Slice tomatoes — not too thick, so they can overlap — halve small cherries, and spread over mozzarella, sprinkling with flavored oil. Add a layer of beans, more dressing. Finish with the last of the tomatoes and flavored oil. Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main-course salad.

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