Sunday, 30 March 2014

Have a Heart

Panino Infornato con Cuore di Pomodoro Caprese
Pizza-Dough Roll with Tomato Caprese Heart

Springtime is just around the corner- in fact, it was already here today in Germany! After a long day of hiking in the sun, I got home tired and hungry... so tired that I decided to use a little brain-power rather than do too much hard work and came up with this great way to enjoy a traditional "insalata caprese" of Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. They were easy to make and basically just took care of themselves- which was fine by me! I was just happy to enjoy sitting back for a while with my feet up :-)

I could have made a pizza, I could have made a sandwich, but instead I decided to fill the tomatoes with the mozzarella and basil, that one would normally use to make a "Caprese" and to wrap the whole tomatoes in pizza dough... it seemed like a good idea at the time, although initially I thought the little tomato pizza parcels would be much smaller. And then they suddenly weren't so small anymore!

But that wasn't a bad thing- oh no, no, no!

First things first- turn on the oven to maximum heat- don't be shy, this is a pizza after all!

Whilst the oven is warming, you can halve the tomatoes and using one of those melone-scoopers, remove all of the moist seeds and turn the empty tomatoes upside down briefly to drip-dry a little. Once the tomatoes are dry, add a piece of mozzarella to each one, a good sprinkle of pepper, a little salt and some olive oil... exactly the same as you would to make a Caprese salad.

Cover with more basil leaves and then measure the width that the pizza dough is going to need to be to cover the tomatoes properly- in this case, 4". This may not seem like much, but trust me- these little parcels of goodness are filling and delicious in every way!

Pop the lids back onto the tomatoes and then lay them on one side at the end of the pizza dough and roll them up, folding the excess dough in towards the middle as you go... but dont get stressed out- they just need to be sealed in dough all the way around.

I have a favorite little trick to use when making pizza as you probably already know... give the dough a 5-6 minute head start in a non-stick frying pan before transferring them to the oven. And that is what I did with these little beauties too. After those 5 minutes in the frying pan the bottom of each roll is firm and crisp, which is always useful when it comes to holding in any potential juices without becoming soggy and "ugh!

And they can then wander into the oven for 10-15 minutes to finish baking and become a wonderful golden brown... mmmh!

Do make sure that the rolls cool off a little before attempting to eat them- remember that those tomatoes in there are going to be very, very hot! Once you do slice them though, and cut through the mozzarella, I would recommend seasoning the freshly cut surfaces with more salt and pepper- that tomato will need salt in order to be flavorful- and of course so does the mozzarella.

These are great hot or cold- what you basically have is a nice, Summer, tomato and cheese sandwich but of course are much more fun with everything hidden from view on the inside- a pretty nifty idea I had there even if I do say so myself!

So next time you plan a picnic or party... or even a packed lunch for work- you might want to consider these for an easy, quick and inexpensive change. Whatever you do have fun making them- and even more fun eating them! Buon appetito!

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