For this recipe, I have combined two ingredients that had long been a part of the Italian larder, but that today in Italy have almost been forgotten. True, tender goat’s milk cheese still exists but, except for the kind packed in olive oil, is seldom found outside its few, hilly production areas. Chives are located more frequently in private herb gardens than in a vegetable market. They are both firmly attached, however, to Italian concepts of flavor. The sweet pungency of goat’s milk works well, I find, with the onionlike reminiscences of the chives. Nor does it hurt that the presentation—which evokes the Italian colors through the tomato red, the white of the cheese, and the green chive—is as pretty as it is good.
Plum tomatoes are the ones I prefer because they have enough firm meat to balance the creamy cheese stuffing and their cavities are not too large.
As a lively and very pretty appetizer, either before the first course or replacing it, in any meal that includes a meat course and in which tomato is not prominent. Serve also as part of a buffet.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.