Tweaked Tricolore

Pan-Burst Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Guacamole, Basil Oil and Corn Chips

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The tricolore salad is one of cuisine’s mysteries – to me at least. It seems so odd that this classic salad is a staple in most London Italian cafés, yet avocado and mozzarella must be one of the oddest combinations – hardly one that you can imagine the great Italian chefs of the past encouraging. However, it’s one that works, even if I can’t quite get my head around it. And for me, a devoted exponent to fusion cuisine, that’s saying something.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 600 g mozzarella, at room temperature, cut into chunks.
  • 400 g best-quality corn chips

For the Basil Dressing

  • handful of basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • salt

For the Guacamole

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 mild red chilli, thinly sliced (more or less to taste)
  • handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Method

Heat a wide pan over a high heat until smoking, then add the olive oil and the tomatoes, and leave for 30 seconds. Gently shake the pan and cook for another 2 minutes, until some of the skins begin to colour and a few of the tomatoes burst. Take off the heat and leave to cool in the pan.

Make the basil dressing, finely chiffonade (shred) the basil leaves and put into a jar with half the avocado oil and 2 pinches of salt. Shake well and leave in a warm place, in sunlight if possible, for 10 minutes.

Make the guacamole, cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and peel them. The best way is to scoop out the flesh with a large dessertspoon. Place the flesh in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Then roughly mash with a fork or potato masher, season and mix again.

To Serve

Place a large dollop of the guacamole on 4 plates, place one-quarter of the mozzarella chunks next to it and then spoon the tomatoes and their juices on the other side. Drizzle the basil dressing over everything, then tuck the corn chips into the guacamole.