- 25 minutes
- Serves 2 to 3
I grew up on tomato and mozzarella salad, but this particular version is now my favorite. Adding a little beef turns this salad into a perfect high-protein low-carb business lunch. Grilling the tomatoes and toasting the cheese adds a richness to this dish that’s hard to beat, and making a rich pesto to drizzle on puts this dish over the top in terms of intense flavor.” – Jon Bonnell, Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine
- 4 oz beef tenderloin, cut into thin medallions
- Creole seasonings, to taste
Tomato & Mozzarella
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- 2 balls fresh mozzarella
- extra-virgin olive oil
- aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 bunch fresh basil (leaves only)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro (leaves only)
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 achovy fillet
- 1 clove garlic (small)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 5 oz extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Lightly toast the pine nuts in a nonstick pan over medium heat until just lightly browned on all sides.
- Place all ingredients into a blender except for the olive oil. While blending, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a thick sauce consistency is achieved. Adjust the thickness of the pesto by adding or subtracting different amounts of oil if desired.
- Lightly dust both sides of the medallions with Creole seasonings and sear quickly in a hot nonstick pan. Once both sides are seared, the middle should be medium rare.
- Remove and arrange with the tomatoes and mozzarella in a stack.
Tomato & Mozzarella Assembly
- Cut the tomatoes into thick slices, season with salt and pepper, then brush with a light coating of olive oil. Grill quickly to get nice charred marks, then remove and arrange on a plate.
- Cut the mozzarella into thick slices and place one slice on each tomato. Use a blowtorch to toast the top of the cheese until lightly golden brown, then season with salt and pepper.
- Place one spoonful of pesto on top of the cheese, then drizzle the plate with a few drops of olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Garnish with basil leaves or cilantro leaves.
Notes from the Chef: Use the best extra-virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar that you can afford for this dish. The flavors will really make a difference.
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