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Strawberry, Mozzarella & Basil

February 20, 2011 10 comments
Mansikka-mozzarella-basilika

Strawberry, Mozzarella & Basil

I can’t wait for it to be summer again! This wonderful starter is so fresh and delicious and yet so easy to make. Also, even though it’s easy to make and has few ingredients, it really looks festive and like proper gourmet. Tastes like it too! So here’s a beautiful, healthy starter for the sunny days:

Ingredients (for 4):

  • 20 Fresh strawberries (ca. 5 per person)
  • 1 bundle of Fresh basil (let’s say ca. 10 leaves per person.. one bundle will do for 2-4 people)
  • 2 balls of Mozzarella (approximately half a mozzarella ball per person)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Chili

Preparation

  1. Begin by setting a couple of basil leaves on the plates. Add a slice of mozzarella on top of the leaves – it’s good to use the largest slices at the bottom.Then add a few slices of strawberry on top of the mozzarella slice. Now sprinkle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or chili oil, grind a little bit of black pepper and a touch of chili powder and salt. You’re done with the first layer.
  2. Now start repeating the layers. Add a few basil leaves, then a mozzarella slice, then a couple of slices of strawberry. Season as on the first layer. Continue adding more layers until you’ve used half a ball of mozzarella for each portion. For the top layer, use strawberries and a couple of pretty basil leaves. You can also garnish the portion with chopped basil leaves and sprinkle them on the sides of the plate.

You can serve this dish with some good quality balsamic vinegar – it goes well with the strawberries and basil and gives a bit of an edge to the taste combo.

Enjoy!

Photo © Kalle Laine

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Portobello mushroom starter

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Portobellosieni alkupala

Filled portobello mushroom

For many many years I didn’t like mushrooms at all. And I mean it. Then one day I ordered this dish in a restaurant that had a portobello mushroom in it. My world changed that night. – Or at least I got over my mushroom trauma. I absolutely loved the portobello mushroom! Needless to say, I really like this starter:

  • 4 big portobello mushrooms
  • 3 spring onion stems OR
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 pot of basil
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 0,5 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices of parma ham
  • 1 ball of mozzarella

Chop the spring onions and basil. Heat the olive oil on a frying pan and sauté the chopped onions. Season with chopped basil, salt, black pepper and balsam vinegar. Set the onion filling onto the mushrooms (remove the mushroom stems)  and rip some mozzarella cheese on top of the onion filling. Do use a ball of real mozzarella and not the ready ground mozzarella that’s sold in bags. They’re two different cheeses :) Bake in 250°C, until the cheese melts. Decorate with parma ham and basil leaves.

Original recipe from:
Viides Glorian ruokakirja (a Finnish food magazine)
Categories: Starters Tags: , , , ,