The first time I saw a tomato stack was in Switzerland at a restaurant hidden behind a residential neighborhood on Lake Geneva.
The menu was simple but spot-on for the area. The main menu offerings were fried white fish and lake trout fresh caught from the lake. At first glance, the menu reminded me of a bar back in Wisconsin, but when I saw the food going out to customers I knew I was somewhere different.
The presentation was nothing less than artistic and stunning whether it was French fries or a simple side salad.
The tomato stack’s ingredients were simple, but when they are thoughtfully assembled you feel like you’re eating something unique and special.
We first eat with the eye before we taste.
Last Sunday, when my husband and I arrived home from a long weekend of cooking, baking, and cutting cheese at our shop, we were starving. It was 8 PM and the thought of cooking something was exhausting. We decided to make something quick, fried eggs.
As tired as we were, we took an extra 10 minutes to make olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip for our bread. We also sauteed some broccolini and heirloom tomatoes with some fresh garlic and red peppers. We topped our broccolini and tomatoes with a fried egg in a simple but beautiful presentation. We were eating by 8:15.
We both raved about our simple meal a couple of days later.
This recipe is very simple, but the way your present it is what makes it special.
Heirloom Tomato Stack
4 large tomatoes, sliced with the ends discarded
2 large fresh mozzarella balls, patted dry
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade (roll basil and slice very thin)
¼ cup fresh pesto
¼ cup best quality olive oil
Smoked Maldon sea salt and fresh ground pepper
On a cutting board, slice mozzarella into thin circles. Salt and pepper each mozzarella slice and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.
On four plates, layer the tomatoes and mozzarella alternating with each other according to the size ending with a tomato slice. Stack them according to size on each plate. Top each tomato with pesto, fresh basil, and drizzle with the balsamic glaze and a little more smoked salt. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.