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Tomato, Avocado and Mozzarella Antipasto

This traditional Italian dish is known as Tricolore' -the red tomatoes, the white Mozzarella cheese and the green of the avocado or basil leaves representing the three colours of the Italian flag. The subtle
flavour and rich texture of the avocado adds a sense of luxury to the dish. It is high in vitamins and, unusually for a fruit, 20 per cent of its weight is made up of essential polyunsaturated oils. Replacing unsaturated oils in a diet, with polyunsaturated oils, can significantly lower a person's cholesterol level. Typically, this dish is made with either avocado or basil, but this version uses both to make a simple, nutritious and eye-catching starter.
Preparation time : 10 minutes,
Calories per serving: 380

ingredients

serves 4
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 large ripe avocado
8 oz (225 g) Mozzarella
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar 8 fresh basil leaves for garnish

for the dressing

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
Freshly milled black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano

method

1. Wash, core and slice the tomatoes and sprinkle them with the vinegar and sugar.

2. Slice the Mozzarella thinly. To halve the avocado, make a deep encircling cut from the neck down to the base and back up to the neck. Sharply twist the avocado to separate the two halves. Holding the half containing the stone, lightly chop at the stone with a sharp knife until the blade becomes lodged.
3. Give the knife a sharp twist to dislodge the stone and cut the flesh into lengthwise slices.

4. Arrange the various slices on individual plates, alternating red, white and green colours. Mix the olive oil, black pepper, salt and oregano in a small bowl and sprinkle the dressing evenly over each plate. Garnish with the basil leaves.

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