Baked Mozzarella Cheese and Tomatoes

In my never-ending quest to find that dish we ate when we were in Landau, Germany, I continue browsing the internet for a recipe.  The dish was melted baked mozzarella with herbs and tomatoes in a small dish.  I think we were so hungry that we just devoured the dish and the camera just did not get any chance at all.  If we ever go back to Landau’s marktplatz, we will definitely go back to that sandwich shop and order the same dish again.

So one day I stumbled upon Lana’s blog: Never Enough Thyme blog.  She had on her blog this Baked Mozzarella and Cherry Tomatoes that she created herself.  So I printed the recipe and kept it in my recipe collection, until the day I had all of the ingredients on hand… well, sort of…

I had some of those vine-ripe tomatoes, block mozzarella cheese (I consider this as the fake one, not the watery kind.  But I guess you have to make do with what you have.  Also, I have my other excuse: my tiny grocery store is not sophisticated enough to carry the real mozzarella cheese), green onions, garlic, basil, and pastrami (again, my store does not carry prosciuto).

In hindsight, I need to make this into a smaller dish next time since there were only two of us who ate this dish. :)  That’s my problem, when I read a recipe, I tend to follow it from A to Z.  I rarely halve the recipe and I need to start remembering to do that next time I try a recipe!

So I sliced the beautiful tomatoes and arranged them into a pie dish.

Then I sprinkled the chopped green onions on top of the tomatoes…

Then the minced garlic went in there too.

Then the chiffonade basil went on the top.

Then my sliced fake mozzarella cheese…

And lastly, the sliced pastrami and I also drizzled some olive oil on top.  I figured, why not, let’s pour some olive oil on it to make it tastier!

And the dish went into the oven at 400 degrees F for 15- 20 minutes.

And we tasted it, and it was pretty good. You cannot go wrong with the combination of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.  But we also found out that the dish tasted even better the next day.  The flavor was more robust and you can really taste the combination of herbs.  I guess like some other dishes that need to sit a day before you eat it, this one does too.

I cannot wait to try to make this dish again with the real mozzarella cheese.  I have read that you can use the prepackaged vacuum sealed, balled mozzarella cheese rather than the fresh mozzarella in water, to prevent this dish from being too watery.

So, enjoy!  Make this and let me know what you think! :)

Print recipe here.

Baked Mozzarella Cheese and Tomatoes
Adapted from Never Enough Thyme

Ingredients:

2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
2-3 green onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 basil leaves, chiffonade
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 oz prosciutto or salami

Instructions:

1.   Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees and spray the baking dish with cooking spray.
2.  Layer the ingredients into the baking dish in this order: tomatoes, green onions, garlic, chiffonade basil, salt and pepper, mozzarella cheese, prosciutto or salami, and lastly, drizzle the extra virgin olive oil.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and the prosciutto or salami is crispy.  Serve with crusty bread.

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