With the advent of fantastic weather upon us in Toronto, one tends to look to fresh and vibrant flavours in one’s diet. So, this week I turned to a classic Italian appetizer. You’d commonly see this during one of the first courses at a wedding or other large feast – we tend to have the large feasts quite often. The bright and fresh tomato marinated in olive oil is paired with a super-light slice of bocconcino and finished with basil. Since tomatoes love salt, I thought the addition of bacon would be fantastic, plus it would add an element of crunch lacking from the dish. So here we go. The easiest appetizer you’ll ever make. If you grow your own tomatoes, this dish will be heavenly. There is nothing better than a tomato fresh from the garden!

Ingredients

3 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

2 Ripe Tomatoes

3 Bocconcini (the bigger ones)

9 leaves Basil

1 bunch Fresh Oregano

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Balsalmic vinegar or reduction

Salt and Pepper

 

Directions

1. Cut your tomatoes into ½” thick slices and arrange them in one layer in a colander.

2. Season them liberally with salt and cover with lots of oregano. We’re going to let this sit for a while to let the salt pull a lot of the water out of the tomato. This will intensify the tomatoey goodness. Plus it will allow time for the oregano flavours to infuse as well.

3. Fry up a few strips of bacon nice and crispy. You can cut them into thirds if you wish at this point.

4. Once your bacon is done, you’ll notice the tomatoes have released some water. If you let them sit even longer, they’ll be even better! Pat them dry and toss them with olive oil and black pepper. We won’t need any more salt.

5. Arrange your tomatoes on a plate and place a large leaf of basil on each slice

6. Then top with a bit of bacon

7. Then a slice of bocconcino

8. And finally a drizzling of balsamic vinegar. So simple, so delicious.