Book Review: Tomatoes & Mozzarella by Hallie Harron & Shelley Sikora

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There are two foods that I truly love – and I love them when used together:  tomatoes and mozzarella.

So when I was asked by The Harvard Common Press if I was interested in taking a look at a new book they were publishing called, Tomatoes & Mozzarella – it was an easy yes.

Anyone who likes tomatoes and mozzarella will truly enjoy this book .  But let me explain why.

The book has a beautiful cover which instantly makes you start thinking about your next trip to the store so you can get started with some of these recipes.

Tomatoes & Mozzarella

The book includes recipes not only from Italy, but from other countries such as France, Spain, even some places here in the US.

When I first agreed to read the book, I thought all the recipes would be from Italy (after all this is an Italian website).   So when I realized this was not the case I was bit disappointed until I started looking at the pages and reading the recipes.

To give an idea of what you can expect, one of the recipes is called Deviled Tomatoes.   Instead of using hard boiled egg as the “bowl”, they use small plum tomatoes to house the chopped ingredients – one of which is hard boiled eggs.

The Deviled Tomatoes are then topped with sliced small mozzarella balls.  How ingenious! I can guarantee this one is a perfect appetizer that will get tons of raves.   Too bad I’m not writing this in the summer -but hey – who cares when you make it!

Catalan not Roman Garlic Bread

Catalan is in Spain so when I saw the recipe for Catalan Tomato Bread, I had to find out what makes this different from an Italian bread?

The concept is the same – toasted thick artisan bread, rub garlic on bread, sliced tomatoes on top along with mozzarella, and a drizzle of olive oil along with a dash of salt…. and here is the added ingredient… a drizzle of red wine vinegar.

Most Italian garlic bread recipes that I’ve seen don’t come with the red wine vinegar.   Not saying it can’t be done, in fact I plan on testing it out myself with a loaf of bread we have in the freezer.

Marinated Artichoke Salad

I chose this recipe because A) it’s Italian and B)it is similar to a combo of two recipes I have (my anti-pasto recipe and my cannellini bean salad recipe).

It’s basically an antipasto which is really hearty and served on top of lettuce leaves which I think is a great idea!   I’d omit the capers, but that’s just me.

The Healthy Parisians

When I think of French food I think butter and more butter.   But one of the recipes, Tomato Lentil Salad really stood out to me.   Not only is it not smothered in butter (burro in Italian), but it really is healthy.

Ingredients include lentils, water, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, white onion (less pungent than red or yellow onion), tomatoes, pesto and shredded mozzarella.

It is simple enough to prepare and you probably have most of these ingredients around if you have an Italian filled pantry or refrigerator.


This book is unique – that’s the only word that really comes to mind.  I say that because it has such a wide variety of recipes.  For example, you wouldn’t think that a tomato and mozzarella book would include a tomato jam recipe.   This one does.

What about Basil scones?  This one does.

How about a Southwestern layered black bean salad with smoked mozzarella?  This one does.

I have not tried too many recipes from this book to be honest.   Not because I don’t want to – trust me I want to try them all!   I’m just sayin’ I can’t vouch for all of the recipes yet.

Great for Vegetarians or as Meatless Alternatives

The book is not vegetarian but there are a lot of meatless recipes here.   Since my husband has recently given up meat for the past 2 months I’m left with trying to find good recipes that fit the bill.

This book does that.

For example, the Wild Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese is a good choice for us.    It’s hearty and still fills the stomach.

The book offers more than boring recipes, it offers a variety of creative recipes from various regions and offers a ton of ideas how to use tomatoes without getting sick of them.

This past summer a friend emailed me with a problem.  She told me she had a huge number of tomatoes that had come out of nowhere and she had no idea what to do with them all!   I don’t think I was much help – told her pretty much just make a lot of sauce and freeze it.

I wish I had this book back then because I know it would have been a huge help for her.  So if you know someone who grows a lot of tomatoes each year or just really like tomatoes and mozzarella – this book is very much for them!

You can order the book from Amazon here if you want to take a look at the inside of the book to check it out.   If you’re total is over $25 (the book is less than $15) you get free shipping.


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