You know I love basil. But, I’m having a hard time keeping up with my plant. It’s like it’s on steroids. Seems like every morning it’s sprouted more new leaves.
Today I thought I’d make tomato mozzarella basil salad–often called caprese salad. It’s a great way to put extra basil to good use. Plus, I’m crazy about the flavor of heirloom tomatoes right now–they’re unbelievable. I like to buy three different colors–they look so pretty with the green of the basil and the creamy white of the mozzarella.
This is a super fast and easy recipe that makes a great summer appetizer or side salad. In terms of any tricks or tips to making caprese salad, here are a couple:
- Always keep your tomato, even after slicing it, at room temperature–if they’re refrigerated, they lose flavor and become mealy. My smarty pants brother tells me this is because the tart taste of tomatoes is due to a chemical called Linolenic Acid converting to Z-3-Hexenel, and this reaction is disrupted by cold.
- Individually salt and pepper each tomato-basil-mozarella unit, and use kosher or sea salt. This will really bring out the flavors of the ingredients.
Tomato Mozzarella Basil Caprese Salad
- 3 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, preferably different colors, sliced into thick slices
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
- 1-2 lbs of fresh mozzarella, sliced into thick slices
- extra virgin olive oil, drizzled lightly over the salad
- sea salt and pepper
- Line up the tomato, basil, and mozzarella slices and season each unit with salt and pepper before adding on the next unit. I like to arrange them into a circle on a platter, alternating the color of the tomato slice used. Isn’t it pretty?
- When all your ingredients are lined up, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the salad.