So here are a few ways to enjoy my favorite flavors….Tomatoes, Basil, & Mozzerella
If you haven’t tried Fresh Mozzerella, you are missing out on an amazing cheese.
It is softer and more creamy than aged Mozzerella. You find it in the refrigerated cheese section of the grocery. It is usually packaged in small plastic tubs and is surrounded by liquid. Or it is tightly wrapped in a “bubble” pack with some liquid around it. This helps keep is moist and fresh. Plan carefully when you buy it, as it goes bad faster than regular aged cheeses. But at our house it never lasts long enough to go bad.
Tomato Basil Fresh Mozzerella Salad
• 1 pint cherry sized Heirloom Tomatoes, halved
• 8 ounces fresh “mini” mozzerella pearls
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 18 basil leaves, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Add the cherry tomatoes and mozzerella cheese to a medium bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzerella. Add the basil, salt, and pepper, and gently toss all the ingredients.
Rachel Ray Caprese Salad
- 3 vine-ripe Heirloom Tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
- 20 to 30 leaves (about 1 bunch) fresh basil
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Coarse salt and pepper
Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
■2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
■3 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced Thick
■12 ounces, weight Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thick
■Fresh Basil Leaves
■Olive Oil, For Drizzling
■Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool.
When you’re ready to serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Do the same with the balsamic reduction, making designs if you want. Store extra balsamic reduction in fridge for a later use.
End with a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Serve as a lunch, with crusty bread. Or serve alongside a main course for dinner.
Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Recipe
serves 4 as first course4 large tomatoes, sliced into thick slices
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into thick slices
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the Basil Vinaigrette
1 small shallot, roughly chopped (substitute with 1 tablespoon chopped onion or 1 garlic clove)
2 slices fresh chili pepper
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
To make the Basil Vinaigrette, add the shallot and chili pepper to the blender. Next add the basil leaves, water, vinegar and sea salt. Blend. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you are blending. To assemble the Caprese Salad, layer the tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. In between each layer, season with a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette on top. Store extra basil vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Heirloom Tomato Bruchetta
• 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
• 5 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
• 1 pint Red Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
• 1 pint Yellow Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
• 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
• 16 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
• Salt And Pepper To Taste (don’t Oversalt!)
• 1 whole Baguette
• 8 Tablespoons Butter
In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden.) Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Add tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, then taste and add more basil if needed, and more salt if needed (don’t oversalt, though!) Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two if you have the time.
Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt half the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, making sure they’re nice and buttery. Cook till golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the other half of the butter and the other half of the bread.
To serve, give the tomato mixture a final stir, the spoon generously over the slices of bread. Serve on a big platter as a first course or appetizer
Sometimes this is an entire meal at our house.