Stacked Tomato Salad with Tapenade & Basil Dressing

2 cups pitted Nicoise olive (about 10 ounces)
4 garlic cloves
4 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
12 large, thinly sliced, fresh basil leaves *

10 large tomatoes cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices (preferably heirloom tomatoes of assorted colors)
2 8-oz. drained fresh mozzarella balls, cut into 1/3 inch rounds

* Roll the basil leaves together as a cigar and cut crosswise into thin slices

FOR TAPENADE: Blend olives, garlic, anchovies, and nuts in processor until almost smooth. With processor running, add oil in a slow constant stream until blended. Season with salt & pepper. (This can be made several days in advance). Transfer to bowl; cover and chill.

FOR DRESSING: Whisk vinegar, honey, and mustard in bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Stir in the basil. Season with salt & pepper. Let stand at room temperature. (Can be made several hours ahead).

FOR SALAD: Place 1 tomato slice on each of 8 plates. Spread each with generous tablespoon of tapenade; top with mozzarella round. Repeat layering. Top each stack with third tomato slice. Chop remaining tomato slices; place in bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing

Spoon some dressing over each stack. Spoon chopped tomatoes alongside.



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