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Baked Lemons with Mozzarella

  • servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 4 large unwaxed lemons
  • 8 fresh, unsprayed lemon, basil, or bay leaves
  • 1 pound fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 anchovy fillets, halved
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dried red chiles, crumbled (optional)
  • Grilled baguette, slices for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a work surface, trim both ends of lemons so they stand upright; cut crosswise 1 inch thick rounds. Using a small knife, remove flesh from interior of each lemon round, forming 8 hollow rings. Discard lemon flesh or save for other use.

  2. Step 2

    Spread lemon leaves in a single layer 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top each leaf with a lemon ring. Place a slice of mozzarella inside each lemon, and top each with a basil leaf, anchovy fillet, cherry tomato, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with dried chiles, if desired. Top with another slice of mozzarella.

  3. Step 3

    Bake until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly. Serve with grilled bread, if desired.

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