HOME GROWN HERO'S - ANDY & JANET WRIGHT - THE CELLAR RESTAURANT - POKOLBIN
Andy and Janet Wright have been serving up amazing food at The Cellar Restaurant in the Hunter Valley for over a decade and have recently opened a second restaurant called the Olive Tree at Wyndham Estate, Dalwood.
Their food is all about sourcing great, fresh seasonal produce and making those simple flavours the hero's. At this time of the year tomatoe's are at their best (and home grown tomatoe's just can't be beaten) and so Andy and Janet kindly shared this recipe with me - which is aptly named the Simple Buffalo Mozzarella, vine ripened tomato and basil salad.
Interestingly Buffalo mozzarella is not only tastier than ordinary mozzarella but has health benefits too. It has 58% more calcium, 40% more protein and 43% less cholesterol than cow’s milk and unlike the array of industrially produced soya and other cereal milks, it is totally free of additives and chemical formulations.
The Cellar restauarnt uses Paesanella brand buffalo mozzarella which is imported from Spain, but any Australian buffalo mozzarella would suffice and are just as delicious.
Drain and slice the mozzarella balls fairly thinly.
Pick some small basil leaves from a fresh bunch and wash and drain but do not chop them as this will cause bruising and discolour the leaves.
Use vine ripened tomatoes – preferably an heirloom variety for extra flavour and juiciness. Store your tomatoes at room temperature, not in the fridge. Slice the tomatoes thinly and arrange on the plate in a circle alternating the slices with the buffalo mozzarella and the basil leaves.
Finally, drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil over the salad (The Cellar uses Olio Mio, a local Hunter Valley oil producer) and add salt and pepper to taste.
For added flavour, try adding some white anchovy fillets to this dish. Their saltiness really compliments the other flavours.
This salad would be a perfect compliment to our Green Label Semillon