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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

complex napoleons

I learned a lot in my first year of med school. For example, there is not quite enough time in the day to keep a food blog updated AND keep up with classwork.

But, now it's summer, and I have loads of free time. Kaytie's workload has recently lightened a bit, so we decided to have a small dinner party last weekend. Five courses with an Italian bent.

We started with prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe. We followed with a caprese-inspired napoleon, but instead of just tomato, basil, & fresh mozzarella, we added some watermelon and mint. The seafood ceviche was served in ice bowls. The main course was roasted pork tenderloin in a picatta sauce with asparagus and easy Italian bread on the side. And for dessert, we made peach ice cream, topped it with caramel sauce, and served it with florentine cookies.

Everything was good (except for the squid in the ceviche - it got way too rubbery), but the napoleons were the prettiest.

Tomato & Watermelon Napoleons

good tomatoes from the farmer's market


fresh mozzarella

fresh basil

fresh mint

red onion, diced

balsamic vinaigrette

This is pretty easy, but it's delicious and looks very fancy.

Peel and slice the tomatoes. Season them with salt & pepper. (Note: if you want to add some more color to this, get some heirloom tomatoes.)

Cut the watermelon into slices that are approximately the same size as the tomato slices. If you're nice, and I am, remove the seeds. Not only will your guests appreciate your efforts, it will also reduce spitting at the dinner table.

Slice the fresh mozzarella.

For assembly, I started with a tomato slice. I put a couple basil leaves on it, and then added a slice of mozzarella. Next was a slice of watermelon topped with a couple mint leaves. Then, I just kept stacking.

Once the tower was an appropriate height, I sprinkled on some diced red onion and a little julienned basil.

These can be assembled before everyone arrives - just splash a little balsamic vinegar on top right before you serve them.