Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tomatoes Stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

This is a slightly different take on the traditional Caprese Salad and came as a result of this months Daring Cooks challenge. The challenge this month was to create an edible container and something to go in it. I actually had a really hard time coming up with something, I just kept trying to think of something really "different". While this combination isn't entirely unique, it's spring time here and this is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Fresh Mozzarella paired with a thick juicy tomato and a basil leaf is so refreshing and a perfect entrance to the great food season to come.  The basil vinaigrette is a vibrant green that adds additional flavor and can be added to taste.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil
adapted from Bon Appetit



1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves (from 1 large bunch)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 medium tomatoes with stems still attached
2 7-ounce balls fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil

6 fresh basil leaves


For Vinaigrette

Blend all ingredients in blender until basil is very finely chopped and vinaigrette is thick; season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

For Salad 
Cut small skin-deep X on end opposite stem of each tomato. Drop tomatoes into saucepan of boiling water; cook 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to plate. Starting at X, peel skin off tomatoes. Cut 1/3 to 1/2 inch off end opposite stem of each tomato or cut wedge out of the side of the tomato. Using small spoon, scoop out insides of tomatoes, leaving shells intact. Mix cubed mozzarella cheese and chopped basil in medium bowl. Divide cheese mixture among tomato shells, packing gently. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover tomatoes and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Invert 1 filled tomato on each plate. Pour vinaigrette into 6 shot glasses. Place 1 shot glass next to each tomato. Garnish each tomato with basil leaf.
Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at!


  1. WOWOWOW that first photo is so beautiful I love it, it looks so delicious wonderful work and I love the recipes you included so nice of you. Wonderful work well done.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. Love this! What a creative take on one of my favorite salads too! I'm definitely going to have to try this one

  3. So pretty! I love the look of the mozzarella cubes pouring out the tomato.

  4. Wow that is so gorgeous, those bright colors just scream fresh and delicious!

  5. A colorful, refreshing take on Caprese Salad. Just delightful.

  6. What a great idea this was! I would never have thought to make the caprese salad inside the tomato... And now, after looking at these beautiful photos, it is all I want! Amazing work, thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  7. Awesome photo! Looks yummy!!!

  8. Wow this looks great! I love how you boiled the tomato before filling it

  9. Caprese salad inside the star of a caprese salad! So beautiful the way the cheese and basil just spills out of it..looks like a painting. Fantastic way to use it as a container, instead of just cutting off the top and filling!

  10. Stunning! everything about your creation is AMAZING..great job!

  11. Wow, what a fun take on my favorite salad!!! Beautiful~

  12. I love how you plated your tomato "bowl" with the filling "oozing" out, the photo is gorgeous! I'm sure this is a perfectly fresh tasting dish! Well done! Thanks for participating!

  13. I actually really like using tomatoes as containers. I like to cut them in half, gut them and fill them with a harrisa based tuna salad.