mozzarella di buffala and heirloom tomatoes salad with fennel vinaigrette

by Heguiberto on July 26, 2011

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mozzarella di buffala with heirloom tomatoes salad

mozzarella di buffala and heirloom tomatoes salad with fennel vinaigrette

This is another great recipe from “Plenty.” I’ve had salads like this before but I don’t remember ever having one with fennel seeds. I think they add a distinct touch of licorice flavor to the dish. While shopping for the ingredients make sure that you select the best cheese and that the tomatoes are the freshest, preferably vine ripened. We are lucky here in California as the heirloom tomato season has just arrived. Right now, they’re bursting with flavor. I got three types of heirlooms: yellow, red and chocolate-red. Delish.

mozzarella di buffala and heirloom tomatoes salad with fennel vinaigrette

4 medium sized, assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut into half moons
3 125gr containers mozzarella di buffala, cut into quarters
1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
Zest of ½ lemon
½ tsp fennel seeds
5 tbsp arbequina olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled, pressed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dry roast fennel seeds in skillet for a minute or so. Roughly crush them to release flavor. Transfer seeds to a small bowl. Add lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Pour sauce over cheese and let it rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Arrange cut tomatoes next to cheese, drizzle with a bit more olive oil and serve.

Happy summer!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife July 26, 2011 at 1:18 am

This looks so tasty and fresh. I wish I had access to heirloom tomatoes here, they are so beautiful.
*kisses* HH
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Su July 26, 2011 at 1:48 am

A perfect salad for the hot summer weather ;)
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Sara July 26, 2011 at 6:26 am

I have never tried a fennel vinaigrette. I’m in a (enjoyable) rut with my mustard-shallot standby, but I will have to try this as I love fennel (which is weird since I hate licorice candy).
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Bluegreen Kirk July 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

Great looking salad and something that seems simple enough to put together! What kind of wine would you drink with this one? I see it says you like red wines which is a fav of mine as well (Merlot)

Krista July 26, 2011 at 9:59 am

Oh that fennel vinaigrette sounds fantastic!! I love that little bit of licorice flavor – it’s so fresh.
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Heguiberto July 26, 2011 at 11:34 am

Kirk,
Thanks for checking us out!
Yes we love reds.
I think this would go well with a pinot noir or a red from Côtes du Rhône. We served
2009 domaine Paul Autard for dinner that evening. It was delish!

Sara: I don’t normally go for licorice flavors but I love eating fennel seeds in breads and soups. I also like those digestive fennel flavored candies served at some Indian restaurants. This recipe certainly expanded our horizons to new cooking possibilities with fennel seeds.

Faith July 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Those tomatoes are stunning! I know what you mean, there’s really nothing like a vine-ripened heirloom…it’s heavenly! Love the fennel seed in this dish too.
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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors July 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

I can’t remember the last time I saw a salad that made me sigh…wow! the colors, the textures, my fave mozz and fennel dressing. You leave me speechless :)

chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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Magic of Spice July 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Gorgeous salad! The fennel must add such a delightful and unexpected twist…love it :)
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tigerfsh July 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I usually add fennel seeds to stews, curries and stir-fries! Never thought of adding them to salads.

Tula Hector December 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Oh my God! That is truly weird, I only encounter this kind of recipe once in my life and i only knew it to you. How does it taste by the way? Is it great?
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