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Author Notes: I developed a mild obsession with verrines, after I sampled them on a trip to France, many years ago. Come to think about it, the entire trip is just a distant memory, except for the verrines part. “Beautiful”, “vertical”, “architectural”, “layered”, “textural”, “intriguingly composed” – I’ve seen about gazillion adjectives used to convey the true idea of a verrine to a layperson. And yes, they are all of that, but most of all, they are HANDY! The verrines are a party dish of all times. The smoky heirloom tomatoe verrine salad is my favorite summer preparation. Almost no prep work at all, and in the fridge they go, giving you a precious extra hour or two before the guests arrive to get your act together on all remaining fronts. And on top of everything, when the guests are served, in addition to the flavor explosion, you will score a couple of extra points for beauty! —QueenSashy
- 3 medium heirloom tomatoes (red, yellow and brown/green), seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 of medium sized yellow zucchini, finely diced
- 1/2 cup fresh corn
- 2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or according to taste)
- 4 ounces mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons kefir or buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chives, minced
- 1 tablespoon mint, minced
- 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
- 2 long slices of thick bacon, halved crosswise
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- A pinch of cayenne (or smoked paprika if you do not like too much heat)
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, zucchini, corn, garlic, chipotle powder, olive oil and lime juice. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spoon the salad into four wine glasses.
- In a small bowl, mix the mascarpone with the chives, parsley and mint. If needed, add the buttermilk to thin the mascarpone a bit (but be careful, you do not want it to be liquid, it should be able to hold its shape on top of the salad.)
- Spoon the mascarpone cream into each glass over the salad. Cover each glass with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the bacon slices on the sheet in a single layer and sprinkle them with the brown sugar and cayenne. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the bacon is caramelized and very crispy. Let the bacon cool completely.
- Before serving, remove the verrines from the refrigerator, top each verrine with a bacon crisp and serve.
- (If you are vegetarian, skip the bacon part and replace the bacon crisp with a parmesan crisp, Ranforest crisp or biscotti.)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for the Shore
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Corn
- This recipe was entered in the contest for A&M Smackdown / Your Best Tomato Recipe
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