Mozzarella salad with tomato crumbs recipe | Nigel Slater

This has all the elements that make pizza such a success – the softness of melted cheese against a crisp crust; the tang of tomato and parmesan; the peppery note of basil – but without the weight of a bread dough base.

Enough for 2-4 as a light main dish

buffalo mozzarella 2 balls
basil 15g
parsley 20g
olive oil 3 tbsp
assorted salami and prosciutto 50g, thinly sliced
black pepper

For the tomato dressing:
tomatoes 4 large
basil leaves 8 medium, taken from the above
parmesan 60g
olive oil 1 tbsp
breadcrumbs 50g

Tear the mozzarella into pieces and place, slightly overlapping, in a serving dish. Finely chop the basil and parsley leaves, then add a few twists of black pepper and the olive oil. Pour this herb dressing over the slices of mozzarella, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Set the oven at 200C/gas 6. Cut the tomatoes in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, dice the flesh into small pieces, then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Tear or shred the basil leaves and finely grate the parmesan, then add to the tomatoes with the olive oil. Toss together gently with the breadcrumbs, then tip into a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until the mixture has crisped lightly on top.

Divide the slices of salami and prosciutto between four plates. Remove the mozzarella from the fridge, scatter the tomato dressing over, then slide, using a fish slice, on to the plates.

Nigel's new book, Kitchen Diaries II, is published by Fourth Estate at £30. To order a copy for £19.99 (including free UK mainland p&p), go to or call 0330 333 6846.

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