Fresh tomato cream with buffalo mozzarella and prawns
- Portions: 4/6 pp.
- Level: 1/5
- Preparation: 20 min.
- Cooking: 5 min.
- Season: Summer
It is fair to say when you see, smell, touch and eat a tomato you think of Italy, its hard not to when it is the main ingredient highlighted in so many dishes in all regions.
Every tomato has its own consistency of flavours, its own textures; the varieties of tomatoes are seemingly endless.
The first written account of a tomato in Italy dates to 1548 and it was in Tuscany. In that account, the fruit, incorrectly aligned with the eggplant, was given the name “pomidoro,” or, if we break the word into its natural components, “pomi d’oro,” golden fruits. That has since shifted into the singular in Italian, “pomodoro (pl. pomodori).” The pomodoro’s rise in Italy was not a quick one. In fact, many of the Italian dishes we consider “staples” that use tomatoes are actually quite young, born in the late nineteenth century when the tomato saw its greatest expansion throughout Italy.
Many varieties of tomatoes can be found in Italy, yet the best known for sauces and pastes are those grown in the San Marzano region, located just outside Naples. This is not to say San Marzano tomatoes are the undisputed best tomatoes. Moreover, San Marzano tomatoes enjoy protected status by the European Union.
A play on the classic Caprese salad this dish is a simple, refreshing starter that will a welcome to any summer dinner party.
- 2kg San Marzano tomatoes (vine ripened)
- 1 bunch basil (washed)
- 500g fresh buffalo Mozzarella
- 12 prawns
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
Wash and clean your San Marzano tomatoes, dice into medium chunks then purée in a food processor or use a hand blender. Pass through a fine sieve to obtain a smooth fresh tomato purée. Season with salt and pepper.
Clean and peel your prawns removing the head but leaving the tail end on, then in a non-stick pan on medium heat, drizzle a little oil into the pan and sauté for 1 min each side and season.
Slice your mozzarella into even round portions. In a medium sized bowl pour in your tomato cream, then layer in the middle your mozzarella then place on top the prawn. Tear up small pieces of basil and sprinkle on top and again check seasoning of salt and pepper, finish with a nice extra virgin olive oil.