| Photo: Amazon.
Recipes by Hallie Harron and Shelley Sikora
Photos by Richard Eskite
The Harvard Common Press -- 2006
Buy it on Amazon
Cookbooks that are focused on one or two ingredients can be hit or miss: It can be hard to feel as though you've gotten the most out of summer vegetables, for example, during their peak season. Authors Hallie Harron and Shelley Sikora take this into account and produce a book focusing on two summer favorites -- tomatoes and mozzarella -- making them useful (especially the former) year-round by taking into account canned and sun-dried variations.
The recipes range from quick meals -- like open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches -- and no-cook meals -- like a marinated artichoke salad -- to gourmet dishes that require more time, such as Stuffed Porchetta with Chunky Olive and Tomato Relish and Rich Tomato Pot Pie.
See what we tested, get a recipe and find out whether the book's worth buying after the jump.
Takeaway tips: Possibly the greatest aspect of this book is the Tomato and Mozzarella 101 at its beginning. For example, the authors go in depth to explore the difference amongst tomatoes, hybrids, heirlooms and beefsteaks as well as the taste distinction between store bought and farmers market renditions. The 101 also includes a quick tour of canned tomatoes and smoked and fresh mozzarella.
Quality of pictures: Showcasing the versatility of these two ingredients, simple photos with no-fuss presentations keep things all about the food.
We tested: Deviled Tomatoes and BLT with M, Fried Green Tomato Style
Guests will "ooh" and "ahh" at the sight of this twist on deviled eggs. Refreshing and not as heavy as their more well-known counterparts, tomatoes are hollowed out and filled with a mixture of eggs, mozzarella cheese, sour cream, parsley, Dijon mustard and hot sauce. Switch plum tomatoes with small heirloom varieties for a memorable presentation.
When a cookbook includes a recipe for a BLT, it's hard to resist, and this one did not disappoint. Keeping the traditional bacon, white bread and lettuce, the classic recipe gets a makeover with green tomatoes dredged in cornmeal, sautéed until golden brown and finally topped with fresh mozzarella cheese. The contrast of toasted bread and soft mozzarella, crisp bacon and plush fried green tomatoes was an instant hit at the dinner table.
Get the recipe for the Deviled Tomatoes here.
Worth the investment: For those constantly craving the combo of ripe tomato and cool, soft mozzarella, this book will be a treat. Though each section includes an eye-catching recipe, it is the breakfast, brunch and finger food sections that will be the most appealing.