Summer Garden Aperitif

 As mid-summer arrives, many of us find our gardens rife with tomatoes, zucchini, basil, cilantro, and the like. This recipe makes use of these summer garden staples, though you can always pick them up at a produce stand or farmer's market if you're not the gardening type.

This is a great appetizer or side dish to a variety of different things you could make on a summer afternoon or evening. It goes well with both a light-bodied red wine or a cold, white variety. Adjust proportions as needed. This will make enough to feed two.

- 1 medium or large zucchini
- 1 tomato, medium or large
- Fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper

First, thinly slice the zucchini into however many pieces you need (8 are pictured), arranging on a plate or platter. You'll have leftover zucchini, unless you're feeding a LOT of people.

Next, slice the tomato as normal, then cut each slice in half so that it fits atop each zucchini slice. Then, place a thin, half slice of fresh mozzarella next atop each zucchini, topping them with a fresh basil leaf.

Drizzle the olive oil over the slices, then use your pepper mill to crack some fresh black pepper over them. Serve immediately.

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