Slow-roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Salad recipe

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad - Credit: Archant

We invited Lesley Wild, founder of Bettys cookery school in Harrogate to share one of her favourtie recipes with us

Lesley Wild in her kitchen at home

Lesley Wild in her kitchen at home - Credit: Archant

Roasting tomatoes slowly in the oven intensifies both their flavour and colour. They can be prepared in advance and keep well in the fridge for several days. Plum tomatoes are the most suitable for this dish: they are full of flavour but not too juicy. Fresh basil is essential and is easy to grow on a windowsill in summer. This salad makes a delicious starter or can be eaten as a main course with fresh crusty bread – adjust the quantities accordingly.


Serves 4 as a main course

16 medium plum tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Extra virgin olive oil

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Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Handful of fresh basil leaves

Fresh garden salad leaves

500g buffalo mozzarella cheese

1 red onion, finely sliced

For the dressing

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 110ºC (gas mark ½). Slice the tomatoes in half lengthways and place in a mixing bowl. Add the garlic, drizzle with a generous quantity of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add a few torn basil leaves and turn with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are mixed together well.

2. Arrange on a baking tray, spreading the tomatoes out so that the cut side is uppermost and they are not piled on top of each other. Place in the preheated oven for approximately 2½ - 3 hours. Remove from the oven when they have shrunk in size and look slightly shrivelled.

3. When the tomatoes are completely cool, spread the salad leaves on the bottom of a flat serving dish. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drain the mozzarella cheese, slice and arrange evenly between the tomatoes. Sprinkle the onion slices and torn basil leaves over the tomatoes and cheese.

4. To make the balsamic vinegar dressing, mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, stirring well to amalgamate. Finally drizzle the dressing over the salad.

A Year of Family Recipes by Lesley Wild is available from Bettys online shop or from our six Cafe Tea Rooms, priced £25.

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