Intro: Tomato Appetizer/Dish
If you've ever been in a position where you need to make an impact over a bit of dinner, but you've never aspired to be a master chef, you need to know some simple and delicious, yet effective and great to look at, recipes. This simple Tomato appetizer takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and requires only a few ingredients, but should impress anybody (as long as you present it well.)
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
What you'll need:
Balsamic vinegar (NOT Vinaigrette, that's a salad dressing)
2-3 tomatoes (depending on size)
Cracked Pepper (if desired)
Something to slice the tomatoes on
I've also discovered that a smoky buffalo mozzarella (cut into cubes) goes wonderfully with this dish.
Step 2: Slice the Tomatoes
First, make sure that you've washed your tomatoes, besides cleaning them, this actually firms the skin up a little so you don't end up crushing the tomato. Also, use the sharpest knife you have, this will aide in slicing.
Cut of the ends of each tomato and throw those pieces either in the trash or in the sink. We won't use those, mainly for presentational reasons. Slice each tomato in 1/4" slices (you don't have to be exact, just try and make everything uniform.) Make sure you aren't pushing down with the knife, but forward.
Step 3: Lay the Tomatoes on the Plate
Since this needs to be somewhat elegant, I've gotten out one of my grandmother's plates. If you don't have any really fancy plates, Your equivalent to a Wal-Mart or Target usually sells nice looking plates in sets of three or four that you can use for this dish.
If you want to keep things simple, just lay the tomatoes down flat in a circular pattern, you can also utilize the rim of the plate if you have a few tomato slices left. I went ahead and stacked the tomatoes in an overlapping circle like in the picture.
Step 4: Adding the Oil and Vinegar
After you've laid the tomatoes out to your liking, get your olive oil and balsamic vinegar out. Lets start with the olive oil.
Since you'll have a different amount of tomatoes and slices every time you make the dish, there really aren't any set measurements when it comes to adding the oil. Just pour it from the bottle slowly until every slice has a little oil on it. If the oil seems lacking, add a bit more.
Next, move on to the vinegar. Once again, this is balsamic vinegar, not vinaigrette. Since this is a vinegar, we don't want to add too much, or else the dish will be very bitter. Do the same thing you did with the olive oil, but with a little more caution. since the liquids are of two viscosities and densities, they'll tend to stick together. If you feel like they've separated too much, agitate the liquid with a fork
Step 5: Serve and Enjoy
Before we put this on the table, you may want to taste a tomato, just to make sure that it isn't too bitter, or too olive-y. Remember that presentation is everything, so clear off your table, and perhaps, depending on who'll be eating, pour a few glasses of wine. You can serve this by itself, or with a little pasta, and maybe a fresh baguette.