Meatless Monday Recipe: Tomato Strata with Mozzarella, Basil & Arugula
6 medium-size heirloom or other tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 medium shallot, finely minced
1 cup finely chopped green or purple basil
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 thin slices
1 large bunch arugula
Serves 6. Per serving: 251 calories, 18 g fat (5.5 g saturated), 11 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 369 mg calcium, 1.3 mg iron, 250 mg sodium.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Wash the tomatoes. If a tomato lacks a flat base, cut a bit off the bottom so it can rest flat. Turn each tomato onto its side, and cut thickly on the horizontal into a base, middle and top slice, leaving the stem in place to preserve the beauty of the whole fruit. Lightly season tomato slices with salt and black pepper.
3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, basil, sugar and olive oil to make a vinaigrette.
4. In a shallow baking dish, arrange the base slices of the 6 tomatoes; layer each with a slice of cheese, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon vinaigrette. Repeat with the middle slices, “capping” each strata with a top slice and attached stem. warm in the oven for about 10 minutes.
5. Place the arugula in a medium bowl, lightly season with salt and pepper, and add just enough vinaigrette to moisten, reserving the rest for serving.
6. Divide the arugula among 6 plates, or arrange on a large serving platter. Using a spatula, carefully remove the stratas and arrange them on top of the arugula. drizzle lightly with reserved vinaigrette and serve immediately.