I typically grow a number of different tomato plants each summer. They are all heirloom varieties (grown organically), so they are beautiful, delicious, and healthy. Heirloom tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes…
…and I put them all to work in this classic Italian Caprese salad.
I grow several different varieties of basil, too, including Thai basil and cinnamon basil. However, for this salad I generally stick with Genovese basil.
A Caprese salad is comprised of tomatoes, basil, and very fresh mozzarella (buffalo mozzarella is traditional). When drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, this salad is one of the simple joys of summer.
Recipe for Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
4 large homegrown tomatoes, heirloom if possible, sliced approximately 1/4 inch thick (or use a combination of 2 large tomatoes and approximately 2 cups of smaller “cherry” tomatoes, sliced in half)
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 handful of fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped (leave several whole for garnish, if you like)
2 tbsp. best quality olive oil
a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (I use aged balsamic)
a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
On a large plate, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices in an alternating and overlapping pattern. Sprinkle with chopped basil and salt. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Photo Credit: Winnie Abramson