How to Make a Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

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No matter how many Italian appetizers you have ordered or created, you can delight yourself and dinner guests with simplistic ingredients and bold flavors when presenting a Caprese salad. This traditional Southern Italian antipasto combines fresh ingredients and herbs of the Campania region. The balsamic reduction offers a sweet flavor that pairs well with the acidity of the tomatoes. Caprese salads provide a heartier first course than green salads and can be shared family-style for a true Italian dining experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Garlic clove
  • Serrated knife
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Small saucepan
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1-lb. buffalo mozzarella ball
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Colander
  • Cold water
  • Paper towels
  • Spoon
  • Salt (optional)
  • Pepper (optional)
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • Romaine lettuce (optional)
  • Red onions (optional)
  • Chop one clove of garlic with a serrated knife. Place the blade of the knife flat against the chopped garlic pieces and press down to crush the garlic with the serrated edge.

  • Boil 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on medium-high heat, whisking throughout the boiling time until it reduces to about 1/2 cup. Add crushed garlic, simmer and whisk the mixture on a low heat until the mixture resembles the consistency of syrup.

  • Remove the balsamic reduction sauce from the heat and cool it at room temperature until ready to serve.

  • Place 3 vine-ripe tomatoes horizontally, cutting them into circular 1/4-inch thick slices with a serrated knife. Slice a 1-lb. ball of buffalo mozzarella into 1/4-inch thick circular slices.

  • Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices on a flat dish. Alternate each ingredient to create a linear or circular presentation or stack the mozzarella slices on top of the tomatoes.

  • Cut and remove the stems of one bunch of basil leaves. Rinse the leaves under cold water in a colander to remove dirt. Pat the basil leaves dry with paper towels. Disperse the basil leaves on top and around the tomato and mozzarella slices.

  • Drizzle the balsamic reduction on top of the Caprese salad with a spoon. Season the salad with salt, pepper and olive oil, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add more ingredients, such as romaine lettuce or chopped red onions, for a variation on the Caprese salad.

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References

  • Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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