This is one of my favorite salads to make in one variation or another. If I don't have fresh mozzarella on hand, I'll just make this as a tomato and basil salad with a little oil, balsamic and salt and pepper. I am always happy with a tomato salad. If you can't get an heirloom tomato any quality tomato will work. It's a very flexible platform for pure goodness!
This salad can be a great lunch all by itself. It's refreshing and fulfilling. It can also be a great dinner salad. Or, as you will see in my next post, it can be a terrific topping for a pizza, or a sandwich for that matter. I also like to add a roasted red pepper (I try to keep a jar of them around for such an occasion).
This is a fresh and easy salad that I did not invent, nor am I taking any credit for it. I am simply pulling the best ingredients together that I have access to and tweaking them to make this great Italian concept my own. It will change slightly every time you make it because this salad is all about the ingredients. Each one of them, the tomato, the cheese, the basil, the seasoning, all stand out, but also blend together so well, in much the same way that the simple ingredients we often see on a great pizza work together. In my mind, the caprese salad is to salads what the Margherita pizza is to pizzas. They are pure representations of what they are (salad and pizza) and celebrate the individual ingredients as well as the gathering of them into a meal.
The Summer Heirloom Caprese Salad:
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella
--Slice an Heirloom Tomato into slices or wedges.
--Place a ball of buffalo mozzarella (or fresh cow's milk mozzarella) over the tomato and break it open.
--Tear or snip with a scissors the basil leaves into strips, or cut them and lay over the top.
--Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad, to taste.
--Sprinkle a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper to finish.