Basil-Smoked Tomatillos With Buffalo Mozzarella

Basil-Smoked Tomatillos With Buffalo Mozzarella
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Smoke from fresh basil gives the tomatillos in this dish an irresistible earthiness, while creamy buffalo mozzarella and homemade white-balsamic vinaigrette add zest and smoothness. You can also use unripe, green-colored tomatoes in this dish.


  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 4 - 5 tomatillos, ½" slices
  • 1 handful basil, stems separated
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella or burrata, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup arugula, loosely packed
  • ½ cup unsalted pine nuts, toasted


  1. Blend together ¾ cup of olive oil with the vinegar, lemon juice and honey. Season the vinaigrette to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Arrange the tomatillo slices in an even layer on a plate and brush them liberally on both sides with the vinaigrette. Let the tomatillos marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat the grill to medium-high. Scrape it first, if needed.
  4. Lay the tomatillo slices on the grill, spacing each piece at least ½” from the next. Lay half the basil stems and a few leaves around the tomatillos. Close the grill cover.
  5. Grill the tomatillos for 5 to 7 minutes, then turn them over using a spatula and lay a few basil leaves and the remaining stems on the grill. Close the grill.
  6. Grill the tomatillos another 5 to 7 minutes. Take the tomatillos off the grill and set them aside. Tear the remaining basil leaves.
  7. Arrange the tomatillos on a serving plate, overlapping the slices like shingles. Drizzle vinaigrette over the tomatillos and top with the torn cheese.
  8. Mix the torn basil, scallions, arugula and pine nuts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Top the tomatillos with the mixture and serve immediately. You should make this dish just before you serve it; leftovers do not store well.
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