This is a great dish that I once learned in a cooking class years ago and still make regularly because my love and I LOVE it. Moreover, it is a top dish if you are hosting guests. In fact, you can prepare them ahead of time and they don't need to be cooked but just nicely placed on a plate along with the dressing. This means extra long quality time with your family or your guests.
This recipe is for 2 people
- 3 of the most flavorful large tomatoes you can find. Tasty-Toms are delicious, but too small for this dish.
- 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella
- 1 thick Zucchini
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes
- 6 black olives without seeds
- 4 large firm slices of Parma ham, not cut too thick, but definitely not too thin either. They should not tear so I always take 2 more just to be sure. Is never wasted right?
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil extra virgin
- 3 tablespoons good syrupy balsamic vinegar
- 8 basil leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- freshly ground himalayan salt
- We'll make the dressing first so all the flavors can soak in well. Slice the tomatoes and keep 4 thick slices aside for the turrets. Of the rest make small cubes. If you prefer crushed (skinned) tomatoes, you can do that too, but I don't think it really adds value, much more work!
- Chop the olives and sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the diced tomatoes.
- Cut the basil leaves into narrow strips and add them to the cubes as well.
- Add the olive oil and balsamic and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and let rest so sealed in the refrigerator.
- Now the turrets: squeeze the garlic cloves and add generously freshly ground pepper to this, mix this into a kind of paste. We only need 4 slices of the zucchini but it's a waste to throw away the rest so put them in the vegetable drawer and make a nice zucchini soup with mint tomorrow. Or grilled vegetables from the oven.
- Brush the zucchini slices with a small amount of olive oil (I always use a spray so you definitely don't fry) and then spread the garlic and fresh pepper on the slices. Briefly fry the slices alternately in the pan. Not too long so the garlic doesn't burn. Place them on a plate to cool.
- Cut the buffalo mozzarella into slices again we need 4 of these. I would love to get everyone on buffalo mozzarella. What a huge difference from that tasteless cow mozzarella. It costs just a little more, but you don't have to make these turrets every day either, although you probably would like to!
- Now we can start building: first take 2 slices of Parma ham and lay them crosswise over each other so that you have a cross. Now start with a slice of zucchini right in the middle, then mozzarella on top and then the tomato, then zucchini, mozzarella and tomato again and then fold the ham slices closed so they become little packages. Turn them over so the prettiest side is visible and voila, beautiful little towers you have built! Put these in the fridge until your guests are ready for their dish. When you go to serve it, place a turret on a plate and pour the delicious dressing over it. Looks beautiful and everyone will be licking their fingers. Oh yes, this is personal but I do take everything out of the fridge half an hour in advance. Don't like it when it's ice cold. If you make it a la minute don't put anything in the fridge.
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