Caprese Salad has to be one of my favorite salads. Especially in the summertime. We enjoyed this one for dinner and there is none left over. I like to use the freshest mozzarella I can find and of course you have to use summer tomatoes fresh from the garden or in my case this year, fresh from the Farmer’s Market. I have basil growing in several pots outside on the deck and I have been pinching off leaves and using them in everything I can think of. A generous drizzle of olive oil and an equal amount of Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar that I picked up at Green Gate Olive Oils the last time we went down to Pinehurst. I LOVE that vinegar. If you can’t find the Black Cherry, regular Balsamic Vinegar is delicious too. If you get a chance to shop in an olive oil/ vinegar shop, ask for a taste of the black cherry if they have it. It’s incredibly good! Shops are starting to pop up all over and if we have one here in little ol’ Greensboro, NC than I am sure you have one near you too.
1 Ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
2 or 3 medium sized tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes make this even better if you can get them.)
Olive oil ( I like regular but extra virgin is delicious here too.)
Balsamic Vinegar (Experiment with some flavored vinegars if you dare.)
Fresh basil leaves
Parmesan Reggiano (optional)
Slice your mozzarella cheese and your tomatoes very thin. I like to place the mozzarella on the platter first so that the olive oil and vinegar have a chance to seep into the cheese. Then I cover the mozzarella with the tomato slices. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Don’t worry about the amount. I like to pour each into a big spoon first and then drizzle them over the salad for more control. Then I like to cut the basil very thinly into ribbons (chiffonade) and sprinkle over the top along with some scattered whole leaves. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Although I didn’t do it on tonight’s salad, sometimes I like to take my Microplane grater and add some finely grated Parmesan Reggiano over the top. With or without, this salad is fabulous!