It’s hard to improve on the classic Caprese salad of fresh mozzarella, farm-ripe tomato, fragrant fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil and salt—but as this recipe shows, it may be remodeled into easy finger food for a party. Serve these little nibbles on a bed of sliced yellow tomatoes or roasted yellow peppers for a stunning presentation. But, of course, they are more than tempting on their own too.
Drain the ciliegine and pat dry. Toss them with the pesto to coat generously. Set aside at least half an hour to allow the flavors to meld.
Cut the tomatoes crosswise in half. Thread each toothpick with half a tomato and one pesto-coated ciliegine. Serve, if desired, on a bed of roasted yellow peppers or simply present as is; they’ll disappear promptly either way.
When it comes to en plein air dinnerware, we often sacrifice charm for durability. Fortunately, the Golden Rabbit Enamelware company offers pastel blue and green damask-patterned, enameled dishes that look good and last long. Dishwasher safe and equipped with extra protection in the form of stainless-steel rims, these plates, platters, and bowls are all you need for low-maintenance, outdoor style. Just add the deck chairs!
Adapted from The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide (Simon & Schuster, 2000) by Paula Lambert
It amazes me that more omelets and frittatas aren’t made with mozzarella—it’s wonderful with eggs. This recipe uses both fresh and smoked versions to bring some depth and complexity to the tomatoes, and asparagus. If you’d like, add another layer of flavor by grilling the asparagus: lightly brush it with olive oil first, then cut it into 1-inch pieces and stir it into the sautéed onion mixture.
This simple recipe from the grandmother of Zuleta chef Jose Maria Pumisacho shines due to the quality of its dairy ingredients: cream and milk just hours out of the dairy, freshly churned butter, eggs harvested daily from pastured chickens, and whatever cheese Pumisacho has on hand. In the absence of your own dairy cow, buy the best quality ingredients you can afford, including cage-free eggs from your local farmers' market. The result is a rich, flavorful soup that nourishes both soul and body, thanks to quinoa's remarkable nutritional benefits (including all eight essential amino acids). Pumisacho serves this dish garnished with homemade potato chips.