Quick, easy and versatile starter

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16 Oct 2012
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I wasn't sure where to put this, really - it's not a recipe, more an idea. We went to a friend's new house for lunch on Wednesday, and she'd done a mix of starters, one of which she'd 'borrowed' from an Italian restaurant they go to.

It was simply a slice of those lovely beef tomatoes, with a slice of mozzarella cheese on top, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. It was really tasty, and as we were talking, we thought it would work well to put the tomato and mozzarella on a thin slice of French stick and pop it under a hot grill, sort of like a mini pizza.

Any other ideas for quick, easy and versatile starters?
 
Yes, sounds good. I've seen simple salads of just tomato and mozzarella slices with a simple dressing, just balsamic sounds good.
 
That's known as a "Caprese Salad". It's definitely delicious and simple. It works really well when tomatoes are at their ripest. You could even mix it up a bit and alternate different color tomatoes. I would hold off making something like this if they are not in season, since they tend to be too watery and the flavor doesn't hold up to the other ingredients.

You can also do a similar variation with boccocini balls (mini mozarella balls) and grape or cherry tomatoes.
 
You can also do a similar variation with boccocini balls (mini mozarella balls) and grape or cherry tomatoes.
There are a lot of cherry tomatoes around at the moment here in Spain - especially plum cherry tomatoes. We had friends around last week, and I threaded them on a cocktail stick with cornichons (baby gherkins) and boccocinis. They were lovely! Tomatoes are so versatile, and there are always some varieties in season here.
 
Keeping it simple is the best way, start complicating things and that's when it all starts to go wrong.
 
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