Broiled Striped Cavern Tomatoes with Ricotta Salata and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Striped cavern tomatoes are briefly broiled, then drizzled with a white balsamic vinaigrette and topped with ricotta salata, fresh basil and fennel pollen.  Garlic butter-fried croûtons on the side..

Broiled Striped Cavern Tomatoes with Ricotta Salata and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3-4 oz tablespoons best quality olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen
1 teaspoon fresh green basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh purple basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
pinch of sea salt & a twist of freshly-ground black pepper
1 scallion, slivered

1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 thick slice bread, crusted and cubed

2 fresh striped cavern tomatoes
fresh basil leaves for garnish

2 oz ricotta salata (a pressed, salted and dried variety of sheep’s milk cheese), cut or torn into small pieces

Core and split the tomatoes across the equator.  Place in a heat-proof pan and broil until they turn brilliant red, about 2 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Combine the vinegar, fennel pollen, salt and pepper together in a bowl.  Whisk in the olive in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated.  Stir in scallions, basil and oregano and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Add the bread cubes and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a dish to drain.

To assemble, arrange two tomato halves on a chilled salad plate.  Scatter ricotta and croûtons around the tomatoes and drizzle liberally with vinaigrette.  Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.

0 thoughts on “Broiled Striped Cavern Tomatoes with Ricotta Salata and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. Fennel pollen? Where does one obtain this? I live in an area where lots of fennel grows wild, but don’t know about pollen.

    • In a previous post, I wrote “/Wild Fennel Pollen comes from fennel flowers picked at full bloom. The plants are then dried and the pollen sifted out, yielding an exquisite spice that has the aroma of fennel, but is sweeter and far more intense in flavor than the other parts of the plant.”

      /Aside from gathering your own, the best commercially available wild fennel pollen comes from Tuscany; it can be found online at places like Zingerman’s, Pollen Ranch/ and Sausage Debauchery (recommended).

      Cheers! /

  2. Conchiglie con Salsiccia di Pollo

    I will definitely create a dinner with this recipe it is the ingredients complement perfectly and the Basil …Ahhhh!!!

  3. This sounds DIVINE! I love a traditional caprese but this looks like a fantastic new twist on my usual thrown-together concoction…

  4. I loved this recipe. I brought some fennel pollen from home and cooked this. Amazing! Here is a coupon good for your site readers and yourself. EDIBLE

    Thanks for a great meal.

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