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Easy meals using tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil

Updated on October 21, 2015
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Tomatoes, mozzarella & basil - three truly wonderful ingredients

Simple fresh tomatoes, lovely mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves make a fabulous variety of easy-to-make vegetarian meal ideas.

It may be just my opinion - although Italians do tend to agree with me - that a blend of the fabulous flavors of tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil is one of the most delicious food combinations.

What's more, this combination is remarkably healthy and works well if you're on a budget too. What makes it even better is if you grow tomatoes yourself, or have a friend or neighbour who has too many for their own needs. And everyone (even me!) can grow basil in pots. This is almost free food.

Really fresh basil makes a world of difference to your recipes and can easily be grown indoors.

My basil plants tend to die off occasionally and need to be replaced but they are very much worth it. One of the most common way to use this combination is on pizza - who really needs meat when you have a fantastic pizza?

Pizza

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One of the great things about pizza is that they cook quickly and can be made in no time at all. They are remarkably adaptable too.

You can buy pizza bases, buy ready-made dough or even make your own from scratch. Add a little tomato sauce when you cook the bases then add sliced tomato, and slices of mozzarella. Freshly ground black pepper is a great addition too.

Remember to garnish with loads of fresh basil.

Make your own pizza bases easily

I remember the days of starting with live yeast, pounding and kneading, leaving dough to rise for hours... now it's easy to have freshly baked bread in your home every day.

If you like to make your own pizza,then why not make your own pizza bases using a bread machine?

Oh, that smell of newly-baked bread!

Pasta

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Pasta is another great meal that you can make with this tasty and inexpensive combination.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the pack until al dente. Add diced tomato and once again, freshly ground black pepper which helps to bring out the tomato flavor. A few sliced black olives go well with pasta too.

Add sliced mozzarella, heat until the cheese is gooey and add fresh basil. This is a meal that takes about ten minutes to make and yet tastes like a gourmet restaurant recipe.

Make your own pasta

Just like making bread, making your own pasta used to be a time-consuming and laborious process.

That's not the case today as there are various tools that can help you serve delicious home made pasta to your family and friends.

I promise you that homemade pasta is so vastly superior to the dried kind you'll find at the supermarket. You can also experiment making flavoured gourmet pastas. These can be terribly expensive to buy ready made - simply create your own depending on your own tastes.

Panini

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This is a real favorite, especially for lunch.

We use panini bread from our local Italian bakery but any good bread is fine too. Just make your sandwich using mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil.

If you have a panini maker or toasted sandwich machine, all you have to do is follow the directions. If you don't, then broil the sandwiches until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted. If you're really in a hurry, skip heating the sandwich - these are just as delicious uncooked. Use a great quality bread, juicy fresh tomatoes (organic if possible) and lots of fragrant fresh basil leaves.

Heaven.

Toast your panini

If I had to decide which tomato / mozzarella / fresh basil meal I like the most, then I'd probably vote for panini.

If you have a real panini press at home you can enjoy this wonderful meal - and many more tasty combinations - at any time. It's wonderful to experiment with different combinations and flavours.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SusanDeppner: Gorgeous, isn't it?

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Ah, summer food! Love the combination!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @yania227: Lovely, aren't they? Such a tasty combination - and very popular with just about everyone.

    • yania227 profile image

      yania227 4 years ago

      I love tomatoes, basil, & mozzarella, I use them all the time :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @MariaMontgomery: On my way!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Those are some mouth-watering photos -- made me want to start cooking. Tomatoes, basil, & mozzarella are 3 of my favorite things to eat. If you have time, check out my lens about baked tomatoes using those ingredients, plus I added a little balsamic vinegar at the last minute.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Mommy-Bear: You're not alone :) In our house, it's a case of when in doubt, eat pizza!

    • Mommy-Bear profile image

      Mommy-Bear 4 years ago

      Delicious! We love pizza 'cause it's delicious with just your three ingredients or you can just keep adding. Either way it's a family favorite.

    • profile image

      Booksie 4 years ago

      YUm!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @marktplaatsshop: Tomorrow maybe :)

    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 4 years ago

      Hi the panini looks great I just had lunch but otherwise I would have made this. great lens

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Aibrean82: Guess what I just had for lunch?:)

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 4 years ago

      Real nice lens with a very tasty looking pizza in the photo that makes you want to dig in and grab a slice. Appreciate you writing and sharing this lens as I enjoy all of the ingredients you mentioned in this lens; especially when everything is fresh. Thank You for visiting my The Worlds Best Tomato Mayo Sandwich lens and giving it a "thumbs up" as I really appreciate it. Hope you enjoy the delicious tomato sandwich as well. Bon Appetit!

    • Aibrean82 profile image

      Aibrean82 4 years ago

      This really is the best combination of flavors out there. I become obsessed with it regularly and put it on everything, or just eat them together raw. Yum, I'm hungry now!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Dusty2 LM: I love your lens! Such wonderful ingredients and yet so simple.

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      cool recipe! I love all the ingredients so gonna do it

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Michey LM: Thank you for pinning. All my recipes are quick and easy :)

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      I collect easy to make recipes... as my time for cooking is shrinking each day... co I pin your lens to have ir handy.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Meganhere: Sounds delicious!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @surfingtheweb: It's pizza night tonight :)

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 4 years ago

      We make our own pizzas with these ingredients and also one with fresh prosciutto and ricotta instead of mozzarella. Nice lens. Made me hungry!

    • surfingtheweb profile image

      surfingtheweb 4 years ago

      Nice lens, when I read the ingredients first thing that came to mind for me was pizza!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      Oh yummmmm. I would love all of it.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @jura: Thank you - I think food is my favorite thing!

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      The Panini looks - well - good enough to eat..

    • profile image

      jura 4 years ago

      This lens makes me hungry , great ideas for tomatoes meal .

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Ben Reed: Haha - great comment :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @NuttSoRuff: Aren't they wonderful?

    • NuttSoRuff profile image

      NuttSoRuff 4 years ago

      Such a good combination...I love it!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @missmary1960: Me too - my favorites :)

    • missmary1960 profile image

      missmary1960 4 years ago

      I love these ingredients!!!!

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      bender2003 4 years ago

      i love pasta fresca with cherry tomato and garlic sauce and I need a torchio to make my own pasta !

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Arod17: Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life :)

    • Arod17 profile image

      Arod17 4 years ago

      this looks so good!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Just a few hours away - Friday night is pizza night :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Where is the pizza?

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sybil watson: That's so nice of you! True, I'm not little and I'm not green :)

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      I knew this was your lens even though that green squid was beneath it on the homepage. Absolutely my favorites - mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes. Wonderful, as always.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SteveKaye: Tomatoes vary so much, don't they? I've yet to discover any today that remind me of my childhood - they were so different then! When I was a kid, it was quite normal (and very delicious) to go to the greenhouse, pick a couple of tomatoes fresh from the plant and that was lunch - sliced and served with fresh brown bread spread with butter, and a pinch of pepper on the tomatoes. That sounds so simple but it was SO very good!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Wonderful info and beautiful photos. Yum. I think I'll cook a pizza tomorrow. And I'll put an organic heirloom tomato on it. There are real tomatoes that taste like real food.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @zee-macmillan: Thank you!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Cynthia Haltom: What did we do without them?:)

    • zee-macmillan profile image

      zee-macmillan 4 years ago

      All excellent idea. Lovely lens!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      These are my favorite cooking ingredients. I keep thinking I need to get a new bread maker it sure make dough a lot easier.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lgOlson: Oh wow, that sounds so good 0 thank you!

    • lgOlson profile image

      L. Olson 4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      I love this combination of ingredients! Another twist is to stuff banana pepper with the mozzarella, top with the basil and tomato, drizzle olive oil over it and bake until melted.

    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 4 years ago

      A really helpful lens...

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @hamshi5433: What a great idea! I usually have sunflower seeds in stock and I'll use them next tme. I imagine they add a good crunch to the panini.

    • profile image

      hamshi5433 4 years ago

      Oh yes! I absolutely LOVE the combination of tomatoes, fresh basil and Mozzarella cheese in Paninis. I like to add some sunflower seeds in, it will taste even more delicious.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Deadicated LM: We're the same - there's a place nearby that makes mozzarella. I envy you being near Little Itlay though. Oh, hang on, blizzards ... maybe not!

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Yummy Lens. Were in the middle of a Blizzard here in NYC; it's days like this I wish I can join you (and half my family) in sunny Florida. I've actually considered making mozzarella, I don't live too far from Little Italy so where's the incentive. Lol

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      I like to try to keep a couple of garden pots growing both tomatoes and basil year-round. I love to use these ingredients in cooking!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @paulgrossman: Sounds perfect Paul!

    • paulgrossman profile image

      paulgrossman 5 years ago

      Excellent lens....You can make some tantalizing paninis with just those few ingredients....I add a little olive oil to the bread when grilling...Yum! Thanks for the share!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @thegrayrabbit: Thank you! The salad sounds perfect :)

    • thegrayrabbit profile image

      thegrayrabbit 5 years ago

      Sometimes my wife and i eat tomato, basil, and mozzerella as a salad by it self. Great lens thanks

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Thank you so much for visiting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Mouthwatering stuff! Thanks for sharing!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Sundaycoffee: It really is easy and makes a lot of difference. I see fresh herbs as 'stealth vegetables' - another way to add fresh greens to our diets :)

    • profile image

      Sundaycoffee 5 years ago

      These do look yummy! And I like the idea of growing basil (and other herbs too) indoors. I should try that.

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