Mozzarella with Balsamic Glazed Plums + Basil-Vodka Gimlet

August 12, 2013

We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there. 

Today: In dinner -- and in life -- it's the little things that count. 

Buffalo Mozzarella with Balsamic Glazed Plums, Pine Nuts and Mint  Basil-Vodka Gimlet

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We're always told to appreciate the little things. But when the weekend's zipped by and you find yourself back to the daily routine, what does it matter that a stranger held the door or that your peaches have reached perfect ripeness? It's Monday and sometimes it's hard to think of anything but that.

This menu will force you (gently, of course) to be grateful for the small sparks of happiness that often go overlooked. Because tonight's dinner is all about those little things. Pine nuts, mint, and a savory-sweet balsamic reduction bring plums and mozzarella together in an elegant dish straight out of a trattoria. And with a little help from basil, one of the simplest cocktails is transformed into a refreshing summer drink. Small pleasures, consider us grateful. 

The Menu

Take advantage of our handy grocery list and game plan, or click the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes.

Buffalo Mozzarella with Balsamic Glazed Plums, Pine Nuts and Mint by Brita

Buffalo Mozzarella with Balsamic Glazed Plums, Pine Nuts and Mint

Basil-Vodka Gimlet by Oui, Chef

Basil-Vodka Gimlet

The Grocery List

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 limes
12 large, fresh basil leaves
1 ounce simple syrup
4 ripe plums
1 large ball buffalo mozzarella
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup pine nuts
A baguette or other loaf of good, crusty bread

You probably have balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and vodka in your kitchen, but if not, add those to list, too. 

The Plan

1. On the stovetop, simmer 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar for about 15 minutes, until it's reduced nearly 3/4 in volume.

2. It's cocktail time. Add the zest of one lime and the juice of both to a cocktail shaker along with the basil (torn into strips), and the simple syrup. Muddle the basil leaves and let the mixture sit.

3. Quarter the plums, then add them to the vinegar syrup and cook for 4 to 7 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, add 5 ounces vodka to the cocktail shaker, then fill 2/3 of the way with ice. Shake with all your might, then strain into 4 chilled martini glasses. If you're feeling fancy, garnish with a small sprig of basil. 

5. Turn off the heat on the plums. As they cool, slice the mozzarella, assemble on a plate, and season with salt and pepper.

6. Top the cheese with plums, any remaining syrup, toasted pine nuts, chopped mint, and a drizzle of olive oil. Tear yourself a generous piece of bread for mopping up any leftover oil and vinegar.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lisa Goldfinger
    Lisa Goldfinger
  • Sebastian Plappert
    Sebastian Plappert
  • ChefJune
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Lisa G. August 13, 2013
I love this menu - the salad with the cocktail, some crusty bread - a perfect summer meal. I bet it would be amazing with burrata too.
Sebastian P. August 12, 2013
better use more basil leaves, maybe substitute vodka with gin and strain into a glasses containing lots of ice...
ChefJune August 12, 2013
That salad has my name written all over it! What a cool idea.