According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “‘basil’ is an aromatic herb with leaves used as seasoning”. And as many a summertime chef will tell you, basil adds zest to your favorite dishes. How should you prepare this fragrant leaf? The Scotto family: Marion, Anthony, Rosanna, Elaina and chef Stefano Battistini — from the New York restaurant, Fresco, show you how. Sample their recipes below.
MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA Stefano Battistini and Chris Smreker
To Prepare Oven Roasted Tomatoes
In a bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and arrange tomatoes face down on a tray. Roast the tomatoes in a preheat oven at 250F for 3-4 hours. Place in a shallow bowl and cover to keep the moisture and flavor in.
Place on top of a slice of bread, mozzarella, oven-roasted tomatoes, basil, two anchovies, salt and pepper. Top with another slice of bread, pressing together.
In a shallow bowl, beat eggs together with milk. Place the flour in a shallow bowl, in a second bowl, place egg-milk mixture, and in a third bowl; add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Arrange the three bowls in a breading procedure, i.e., flour, eggs-milk and breadcrumbs.
Take the sandwich and pass it through the flour first, then egg-milk mixture then the breadcrumbs. In a sauté pan, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium to high heat and deep fry the sandwich until you achieve a golden brown crust.
9123718604816048231902bread8slice8 slices breadmozzarella 1.5pound1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella sliced 2-inch thickbasil leaves2cup2 cups fresh basil leaveseggs4 eggsbreadcrumbs3cup3 cups breadcrumbsflour1cup1 cup flourmilk2cup2 cups milkolive oil3cup3 cups extra virgin olive oilanchovies0.25cup1/4 cup anchoviestomatoes 3pound3 pounds oven roasted tomatoes for garnishsalt and pepperSalt and pepper to tasteplum tomatoes 3pound3 pounds plum tomatoes cut in halfbasil1cup1 cup chopped basilgarlic0.25cup1/4 cup chopped garlicolive oil0.5cup1/2 cup extra virgin olive oilsalt and pepperSalt and pepper to taste
Recipes by Executive Chef Stefano Battistini and Pastry Chef Chris Smreker of New York City’s Fresco restaurant. Copyright 2001. Reprinted by permission.