Buffalo mozzarella is perfect here, because its fresh, slightly sour, milky flavor and soft texturetemper the piquant saltiness of the cured, air-dried salami. The success of this recipe lies almost exclusively with the quality of the ingredients, so choose the best you can affordand you’ll be rewarded with great-tasting bruschetta.
|8 thick slices country-style bread||2 large handfuls basil leaves, plus extrafor sprinkling|
|2 large garlic cloves, halved||1 garlic clove, crushed|
|olive oil, for brushing||juice of 1/2 lemon|
|9 ounces buffalo mozzarella cheese,drained, patted dry and sliced||6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil|
|16 thin slices salami of your choice,casings removed||sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|6 large vine-ripened tomatoes,quartered, seeded and diced|
Heat a large cast-iron, ridged grill pan over high heat. Grill the bread, 2 or 3 slices at a time, until bothsides are toasted and lightly charred in places.
Meanwhile, make the basil oil. Blend together the basil, garlic, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil ina mini food processor until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and leave to one side.
Rub the cut side of the garlic over the toasted bread, then brush with a little olive oil. Top with mozzarella,salami and tomatoes. Season and drizzle over some basil oil. Serve sprinkled with basil leaves.
In Italy, delis and supermarkets proudly display large, open containers of fresh mozzarellain all shapes and sizes, from the smallest bocconcini to the most-prized burrata andmozzarella di bufala. While most mozzarella is now made from cow’s milk, it is still possible to buy the traditional buffalo milk alternative. This fresh, unripened cheese is the classic pizzatopping, but it’s also great in salads, such as insalatacaprese. Scamorza and the smoked version,scamorzaaffumicata, belong to the same family as mozzarella. It has an unusual pear shape anda slightly firmer, drier texture than mozzarella. Burrata is also worth trying in this recipe. This rich,indulgent cheese has an outer shell of mozzarella with a creamy interior—delicious!
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