Tomatoes and basil are a summer staple for me. They’re easy to grow and hard to mess up in the kitchen. I have always loved tomato and basil salads with a balsamic glaze, so when I found a recipe for a warm tomato strata I tried it right away. The original recipe I tried a few years ago included a dressing with red wine vinegar and shallots. I didn’t have either of those on hand today, but I did have some tomatoes I needed to use and some fresh basil in the garden. So to make this simple summer strata you’ll need:
Two ripe tomatoes
1/8 cup fresh basil diced
1/4 cup balsamic glaze
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
thick slices of fresh cheese – it would be best with mozzarella, I used the Chapel Hill Creamery smoked farmer’s cheese
Slice each tomato into 4 slices. Discard the bottom slice. This will allow the layers to sit flat in the pan. Roughly dice the basil and garlic; combine with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
You don’t want to make a dressing, it should be more of a paste. Once you have the balsamic glaze, mix in the balsamic glaze. Spray a pan with non stick spray. Layer the tomato with the basil glaze and cheese.
Once you have your tomatoes layered, you can drizzle any leftover basil balsamic over the tops. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the skin of the tomato begins to detach. If you use fresh mozzarella, be sure to keep an eye on how quick it melts. You want the cheese to be gooey, but not soupy. Serve alone or on top of fresh spinach.
So good! And naturally gluten free :)
Look at who I found in my spinach bag:
The spinach is supposed to thoroughly washed, so I typically don’t rinse it or even look through it! I wonder how many of these ended up in my green monsters??!!