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Appetizers, Vegetarian

Caprese gratin

Caprese gratin
Los Angeles Times

CRAZY ideas are floating around on the Internet. A food blog the other day actually contended that it might be possible to eat too many raw tomatoes with fresh basil in summertime. If Samuel Johnson were still around, he'd probably ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 4
  • 7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 16 slices tomato, about 1/4 inch thick
  • 16 slices fresh mozzarella, about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves, plus 4 small top sprigs
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or to taste

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a gratin dish or rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Rub with garlic. Sprinkle with hot pepper. Set aside.

Step 2Lay 4 tomato slices down the center of the pan, leaving a couple of inches between them. Spoon one-fourth teaspoon olive oil on top of each tomato slice. Top with 4 slices mozzarella. Sprinkle with chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue layering with the remaining tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella, and basil making 4 tomato-cheese stacks.

Step 3Bake 10 minutes, until the cheese is starting to melt. Using a slotted spatula, carefully transfer each stack to a serving platter or plates. Drizzle each stack with one-half teaspoon balsamic vinegar and one-half teaspoon olive oil; top each with a basil sprig. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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