When you see Caprese Salad on any menu, it’s never a cheap thing to get as an appetizer or meal. The thing that always bothers me is the recipe is so, so easy and it should never cost that much. This time of year, we have most of the ingredients in the pantry or garden. This light and fresh salad is perfect for a quick lunch or even a starter to go with your meal. With the addition of the balsamic vinegar drizzle, it’s even better and takes it to another level.
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 12 oz. fresh mozzarella, large ball
- 1 large bunch fresh basil, washed and dried
- 3 Tbsp really good extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 cup of balsamic vinegar
- sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper, to taste
- Thoroughly wash and pat tomatoes and fresh basil dry. Slice tomatoes, working from top to bottom, into evenly sized slices approximately ¼” thick, and set aside. Discard the bottom and top slices. Cut fresh mozzarella into ¼” thick slices, as well.
- On each plate, start with a tomato slice, followed by mozzarella and a large, fresh basil leaf. Repeat this pattern until you’ve added 1 tomato and approximately 3 oz. of mozzarella to each plate, finishing each arrangement with a tomato slice. Drizzle with high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
- To make the balsamic glaze, heat 1 cup of good balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 of its original volume, stirring continually. When the liquid becomes thick and syrupy, it is ready to use.
- Let glaze cool slightly before drizzling over the fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with additional sprigs of fresh basil, if desired.