I am sure my friend Scott will look at this and say, "What's the point? There is no gin!" This was a palate cleanser that I served at our Italian Tasting Menu night. One could probably add a touch of vodka or gin to make a real drink. It was very refreshing and a light bite between richly flavoured courses.
Mozzarella Martini with Fresh Tomato Consommé
3 to 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 mozarella cheese bocconcini, each 1 inch in diameter
4 grape tomatoes
basil flavoured olive oil, optional
4 fresh basil leaves
Chill the martini glasses in the freezer or refrigerator an hour ahead of serving. For the most stunning presentation, make sure the glasses are heavily frosted, so the freezer works best.
Salt and pepper the coarsely chopped tomatoes in a cheesecloth lined sieve suspended over a bowl and refrigerate for several hours. As the tomatoes release their juice, it wall fall into the bowl, giving you an almost gin-clear liquid with lots of flavour. Reserve the tomato pulp for another use.
Skewer a grape tomato, basil leaf and bocconcini on a short wooden pick. Pour tomato consommé into the chilled martini glass and garnish with the skewered salad.