I wait all year to make my first Caprese Salad.The succulent tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, earthy basil and sweet/tart vinaigrette.It is one of my absolute favorite summer dishes.Best of all, it is super easy to make, making it the perfect outdoor/ dining food!Now, I will have to admit that I was hoping to show you tomatoes from my own garden, but our cold spring has turned into a cool summer.As a resident, I have no complaints of our summer… chilly, slightly overcast mornings move into warm, sunny afternoons.But as a gardener, I am looking at a bevy of tomatoes on the vine that can’t seem to make the change from green to red.I couldn’t wait any longer and so resorted to picking up some local tomatoes from our nearby market.The tomatoes are key to this salad.The best way to make this salad is with fresh from the vine tomatoes, preferably heirloom.And if you haven’t tried an heirloom tomato, this salad is the perfect opportunity to experiment a little.Heirloom tomatoes come in a wide array of colors from your classic red, to green with stripes, to deep purple to a beautiful yellow mottled with burgundy.Often misshapen in weird, sometimes grotesque forms, cut into an heirloom tomato and you will find succulent, juicy, sweet (with just enough acid) flesh that speaks of summer.Bon Appetit
This is just one of an infinite variety of ways to make this simple, summer salad. The key to its success is using the highest quality ingredients you can find.
Serves 2 (if you LOVE fresh from the vine tomatoes) or 4 (if you have a more typical appetite)
2 large heirloom tomatoes
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
2 sprigs fresh basil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Slice the tomato in thick (1/4″ or so) slices. Slice the mozzarella in slices about half as thick as the tomato. Julienne the basil. Place a slice of tomato on a plate, add a layer of mozzarella, another tomato and another layer of mozzarella (continue layering if serving salad on a platter for family style service).
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and mustard. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad. Sprinkle basil and sea salt over the top. Serve immediately.