Prep time: 10min - Cook time: 10min - Total time: 20min
6 oz cherry tomatoes
4 oz fresh mozzarella
2 oz ricotta salata*
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf crusty bread
Salt and pepper, to taste
Balsamic vinegar reduction (optional)
For the Basil Vinaigrette:
1 shallot roughly chopped
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves stems removed (about 4 ounces)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
*Ricotta Salata can be hard to find at the supermarket sometimes. You can typically spot it at the specialty section or at a specialty market. But, if you can’t find it, substitute with another salty cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Feta.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Slice the bread into thick (to preference) slices, place on a large baking sheet, and brush with olive oil. Toast 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
To make the vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients for the basil vinaigrette in a high-powered blender or a food processor and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth, stopping and scraping down de sides as needed. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
Cut the tomatoes into 4 small pieces and season with salt.
Cut the cheese into small cubes.
In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, mozzarella, and ricotta just until incorporated. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and mix gently. Taste, season to taste, and add more vinaigrette if desired.
Place the tomato mixture on top of the toasted bread, drizzle with a balsamic reduction if desired, and serve immediately.