For the past couple of weeks, I have had a huge overflowing vase of fresh basil and a large basket of heirloom tomatoes on my kitchen counter. This point of summer is culinary heaven! One of my favorite ways to use up all those tomatoes and basil is to make a caprese salad. It’s very simple to pull together and in my opinion, it is the perfect taste of summer. My favorite way to prepare it is to get as many different color heirloom tomatoes as possible on the plate.
One of the things besides beautiful tomatoes that really makes caprese salad work is good-quality balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Two brands that I have really liked is the Kirkland Signature Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (available at Costco) and the Paesano Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (available at Whole Foods.) While there are certainly higher quality balsamic vinegars and olive oils out there, I think both types I listed are a very good value for their quality.
One day, I would love to make homemade fresh mozzarella as well, but I may have to move that one to next summer’s bucket list. Here’s to the last few weeks of summer!
- 4-8 heirloom tomatoes (depending on size)
- 1 fresh mozzarella ball, brought to room temperature
- Balsamic vinegar (good-quality)
- Extra-virgin olive oil (good-quality)
- 4-6 basil leaves, cut chiffonade-style
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Wash and cut the tomatoes into thin slices. Arrange the tomatoes on a decorative serving platter. Slice the mozzarella ball into 6-8 large slices or into many small pieces depending on your preference. Drizzle on the balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil (I generally prefer a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to olive oil.) Sprinkle cut basil leaves on top and season with salt and pepper.