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Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

2 pounds vine-ripened Local or heirloom tomatoes (about 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound buffalo mozzarella, sliced1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup packed fresh basil or arugula leaves, washed well and spun dry
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled, if using arugula instead of basil
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
preparation

Directions:
On a large platter arrange tomato and mozzarella slices and basil leaves, alternating and overlapping them.
Sprinkle salad with oregano and arugula and drizzle with oil. Season salad with salt and pepper.

Roasted Garlic Oil

Ingredients:

3 large heads garlic, cut horizontally in half
3 cups pure olive oil
4 sprigs thyme or rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns, toasted
preparation

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Put the garlic heads cut side down in a small casserole or ovenproof pot and pour the olive oil over them. Add the thyme and pepper. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the garlic is soft enough to mash.

Remove garlic from the oil and set aside.

Strain the oil into a bowl and let cool, then pour into an airtight container. The oil will keep for at least a month. To make the garlic mash, squeeze the cloves out of their papery husks into a bowl. Mash the roasted garlic with a fork. Store mash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

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