By the time mid-summer rolls around, the last thing I want at a picnic is another bland potato or pasta salad. But a salad that would never get tired or disappoint is the classic Caprese Salad. I have made variations of this recipe several different ways. Each time I learn something new that makes the next variation even better. This version of the Italian delight is by far my most favorite way to make it. I use cherry tomatoes for its low liquid and acidity and tiny fresh mozzarella balls packed in water because it has the most flavor. As you can tell by the recipe below, you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make an impressive Caprese Salad; however, the quality of the ingredients is absolutely critical. Make sure the tomatoes were picked at their prime ripeness and the balsamic vinegar isn’t the cheap stuff that tastes like brown water.
- 2 pints fresh cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella, drained and halved
- 4 Tbl. very good balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbl. good olive oil
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. In the same bowl, add the chopped fresh basil and mozzarella. Mozzarella comes in various sizes. If you are not able to find the mozzarella that is packed in water and portioned into tiny balls, make sure to portion the mozzarella to the same size as the halved cherry tomatoes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to the cheese and tomato mixture. Toss lightly and serve.