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Fresh Mozzarella, Plum, & Kumato Stacks with Lemon-Herb Drizzle

Fresh Mozzarella, Plum, & Kumato Stacks with Lemon-Herb Drizzle

Leslie Orlandini
Artful plating and dramatic colors sing in this salad-like entrée. When shopping, consider the shape of ingredients: Try to find similarly sized tomatoes, golden beets, and plums, which will yield uniform stacks. Don’t worry if they’re not all identical; you’ll simply end up with more whimsical-looking stacks. If you can’t find deep red-hued Kumato tomatoes, use another variety that’s in season near you.



  • 3 medium golden beets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 medium black or red plums
  • 3 medium Kumato tomatoes
  • 1 8- ounce ball mozzarella


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano minced
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small head frisée washed and cored
  • 3 ounces daikon sprouts roots removed


  • STACKS: Peel and cut off stem end of each beet. Slice into ¼-inch circles. Roll out a 12-by- 14-inch sheet of foil, and top with a 10-by-12-inch sheet of parchment. Pile sliced beets onto parchment, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Fold up to seal within parchment. Place in a toaster oven, and set to 325°F (or use a preheated conventional oven). Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until beet slices are fork tender. Remove from toaster and let cool, uncovered.
  • Meanwhile, slice each plum in half, from stem end to bottom, and remove pit. Slice halves into discs ¼-inch thick. Cut tomatoes into ¼-inch slices. Slice mozzarella into circles ¼-inch thick.
  • Stack cooked beets, plums, and tomatoes, along with mozzarella, in any order (we like to start with beets at the base, followed by plum, mozzarella, tomato, mozzarella, and beet). Repeat with remaining ingredients for desired servings. Place stacks on a sheet tray.
  • LEMON-HERB DRIZZLE: In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, mint, oregano, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • TO SERVE: Spoon 1 tablespoon of lemon-herb drizzle over each stack. With a spatula, carefully transfer each stack to a plate.
  • In a medium bowl, combine frisée and sprouts. Spoon 2 tablespoons of lemon-herb drizzle over salad greens, season with salt and pepper, and toss lightly. To plate, place a small pile of the dressed salad next to each stack. Spoon additional vinaigrette over stack and salad, as desired.

Stylist Leslie Orlandini

Leslie Orlandini is a chef and an accomplished food stylist in print and television. She has been nominated for both James Beard and Emmy awards and is a veteran of thousands of cooking shows and segments. You can learn more about her through her website: http://leslieorlandini.com/

Photographer Mark Ferri

Mark Ferri is a graduate of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. He believes in a simple, direct approach that captures the natural beauty and appetite appeal of food. Mark celebrates a life-long passion for food by frequently exploring new restaurants in New York and in Europe, and loves to cook and entertain at his home in the Hudson Valley. Learn more about Mark on his website: http://www.markferriphoto.com/