I am sure that I’m not alone in being thrilled that the tomatoes are starting to make their appearances at the Farmers Market this summer. I’ve heard many people rave about tomato sandwiches and fresh salsa and how there’s nothing like a freshly-picked, sun-ripened tomato. I can’t say that I disagree!
However, my favorite quick recipes for enjoying fresh summer tomatoes usually involve garlic, basil, olive oil, and other Italian flavors. That’s probably no surprise as my recipes do tend to have an Italian influence running through them! Caprese Salad is by far the simplest presentation that I use regularly since it only requires slicing, arranging, and dressing. What I love about that is that it really allows the tomato to shine – and shine it does.
- 2 to 3 medium sized tomatoes (choose a variety of heirloom tomatoes for varied colors on the plate!)
- 1-2 balls of fresh mozzarella
- handful of fresh basil
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Salt & Pepper
Slice the tomatoes and the fresh mozzarella a little thicker than a quarter of an inch. Arrange tomatoes slices on a serving platter. Top each tomato slice with a slice of the cheese. Place a fresh basil leaf on each slice of cheese. (Alternately, you can cut the basil into ribbons and sprinkle it over the top.) Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
Another option for enjoying this delicious combination is to place it on a bed of fresh spinach. Alternately, you could cube the tomatoes and mozzarella and toss them with mixed greens, dressing the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Stacked between bread slices, it makes a great sandwich too!