Homemade Italian sausage is formed into patties and stuffed with nuggets of mozzarella cheese. Then, the burgers are heavily pepper-crusted on the rims and finished with a dollop of creamy ricotta, red sauce, and fresh basil. Perhaps best of all, though, is the garnish of vinegar peppers that roast in the oven (or, alternately, cook in a tin right on the grill).
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A medley of fresh herbs—basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, and mint—combines with arugula, grape tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, and two types of olives for a bright, intensely flavorful end-of-summer salad.
Sweet, silky, and absolutely delicious, this breading-free version of eggplant parm made in Italy is well worth trying, especially in late summer when eggplant (and tomatoes!) are at their best.
A dynamite duo of ripe, juicy tomatoes and creamy burrata cheese joins briny kalamata olives, aromatic lemon zest, and ribbons of fresh basil, all garnished with quality olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a finishing sprinkle of fresh-cracked pepper and flaky sea salt.
In this recipe from her new cookbook, A Change of Appetite, Diana Henry elevates the classic caprese combo of mozzarella, tomato, and basil with the addition of nectarine. The ripe fruit adds a juicy sweetness that I never realized was missing. Dressed with just olive oil and white balsamic, every element shows at its best. So simple, so smart.
Delicious drop biscuits—quick and easy to make—are stuffed with scrambled eggs loaded with melted mozzarella cheese, a touch of feta, and plenty of fresh dill. On the surface, this may seem like a lot of work just for breakfast, but it actually couldn't be easier to prepare.
Grilling and pesto are two of the quintessential flavors of summer. Here we combine the two by slathering a butterflied flank steak with fresh pesto, then layering it with mozzarella and prosciutto before slicing it into pinwheels and grilling it over hot coals.
Oven-roasted tomatoes get sweetness and depth from maple syrup and balsamic vinegar in this winter-friendly twist on traditional caprese salad.
According to Sarah Copeland, caprese salad doesn't always need to include tomatoes and basil. Whether or not we take that as indisputable truth, it would be impossible not to enjoy her four seasonal variations on the salad in her new cookbook, Feast. Each salad uses mozzarella as a link to the classic. There are peas in the spring, beets in the fall, tomatoes (of course) in summer, and lentils in this winter version.
Tomatoes are still abundant this time of year in California. They're mostly big meaty specimens, taut with sweet juice. Tracey Medeiros offers an easy stuffed tomato recipe in her new book, The Vermont Table Cookbook. Instead of stuffing the tomatoes with a meat or bread-based stuffing, she fills them with other seasonal produce like yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper, for a ratatouille-like melange of summer flavors.
Crisp, bubbly pizza soaked in clam juice with fresh clams, mozzarella, romano, olive oil, and a hint of red chili heat.
Nachos for breakfast? It may sound strange until you consider that one of the greatest breakfast dishes of all time—chilaquiles—is basically a dressed-up version of nachos. In their cookbook, Ultimate Nachos, Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson offer more than a few tortilla chip-based breakfasts (including chilaqueles, of course). This particular dish, the Breakfast Nachos Skillet, is a take on baked eggs with spinach, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes.
A caprese salad stuffed into a hot and crispy grilled cheese sandwich.
Perhaps if I cut back on the number of options and focused on cooking them properly I could create a vibrant and satisfying vegetable sandwich, complete with contrasting textures and varying flavors.
This perfect easy mix of fresh and store-bought combines a chunky vegetarian double-mushroom "bolognese" with rigatoni, torn fresh mozzarella, and truffle oil.
The classic Italian salad of tomato, mozzarella, and basil gets a hearty lift with the addition of pasta and chicken.
Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil are a classic combination, but sometimes the dish can be very bland. Here, cherry-sized mozzarella balls (ciliegine) are marinated in extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper, and then tossed with sweet cherry tomatoes and golden balsamic vinegar. Nothing bland about that.
This Gluten-Free Roasted Tomato Pizza forgoes tomato sauce in favor of slowly roasted grape tomatoes. They top the par-baked crust alongside caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, and fresh mozzarella for a pie that tastes fresh and very light, almost more flatbread than pizza.
[Photograph: Blake Royer] Adapted from Food Network. About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer....
In a twist on Pasta Alla Norma, penne is topped with eggplant, mozzarella, basil, and a light tomato sauce.