This is my adaptation of the Mozzarella Pizzaiola recipe in one of my all-time favourite cookbooks Polpo. I landed up using basil instead of oregano which makes up the classic Pizzaiola sauce. The tomatoes are roasted slowly in the oven until just before they fall apart and develop a delicious sweetness in their own sauce. This sauce becomes part of the dressing. I used a mix of whole and half rosa and cherry tomatoes, as well as larger tomatoes, cut into similar bite sizes. These spooned over-generous handfuls of wild rocket and torn up balls of soft curd mozzarella were stunningly delicious. That is the beauty of Italian food, simple beautiful ingredients and flavour combinations.

Recipe – adapted from Polpo – serves 4 as a side


Salad of slow-roasted tomatoes with mozzarella & basil

  • Author: Sam Linsell


1 kg tomatoes, any and a variety

extra virgin olive oil

red wine vinegar

sea salt flakes (Maldon) & black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

a small handful basil leaves

3 x 125g buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte

3 handfuls of fresh wild rocket


preheat the oven to 140C. Cut the tomatoes into bite sizes or halve cherry and rosa tomatoes. If they are small, leave them whole. Scatter them on a large baking tray and drizzle over a good glug of olive oil and a few splashes of red wine vinegar. sprinkle the sugar, salt and pepper. Roast for 1 1/2 hours until the tomatoes are starting to burst but still hold their shape.

Allow the tomatoes to cool slightly. Arrange the rocket on a large serving plate and spoon the tomatoes over this making sure to scrape off all the sauce. Tear the mozzarella up slightly and place this on top. Scatter over the basil leaves and serve.


Salad of slow-roasted tomatoes with mozzarella & basil recipe


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