Whomever stuck a hunk of cheese with some tomatoes Basel and called it a salad, I love you! Seriously, I was vegan for several years in the past, and cheese was really the only thing I ever missed or was shocked I was able to go without. It really is from the gods!
This Caprese Salad is super easy and delicious. For those of you that have never tried it, you really must. It’s idiot proof, so refreshing, makes an amazing lunch or dinner starter (and sometimes I eat this for breakfast)!
You can make it super fancy and elegant, or serve it really simply. Whatever goes. You just really want to use the best cheese you can afford, because it does make a difference. The fresh ball of mozzarella is exponentially better than the fake stuff from the grocery store, and they sell both. But, splurging the extra dollar or two, if you can afford it, is so worth it. And, if you have never had burrata, you DEFINITELY need to try this. Trust me, if you are throwing a party, buy the Burrata. You will thank me!
When making something really simple, you want the best ingredients you can find. Because you will taste it! A mealy tomato will definitely taste like a mealy tomato in this, so you want to make sure you get a really delicious, ripe juicy one. I personally love the dark green/red heirlooms when they are in season (sometimes I will eat one by itself with some salt or avocado as a meal). Save the mealy ones if you have them for a sauce or stew.
And, lastly, truffle salt and balsamic reduction. Truffles had a moment for awhile, and lots of people love or hate them. I personally love them, and use the salt when I can, instead of the oil. Most chefs laugh at truffle oil, but I think it can be great on pizzas and other dishes, depending on what that they are.
Balsamic reduction: you can make this by slowly simmering balsamic by itself on the stove until it thickens (you can add a little sugar if desired to lessen the acidity), but I personally love buying a really delicious reduction that is already made to save time. Trader Joe’s has a great one that is not too expensive and I use it on savory and sweet dishes. It goes great on roasted or sautéed onions, with fruit, on ice cream; lots of ways to use this deliciousness.
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 1 ball mozzarella or burrata
- ~6 leaves basil
- high quality olive oil
- balsamic reduction
- truffle salt, to taste
- Slice the Tomato into thick slices. About 1/2″-3/4″ is generally a good size.
- Slice mozzarella ball into matching slices. You roughly want each tomato slice to have an equal slice of cheese and basil. If you are using the ball of burrata, don’t slice it before hand; Place in the center of the plate, dress as you would the full salad, and let your guests cut into it for the drama of the oozing creme fraiche inside.
- Place your tomato and cheese on a plate, alternating cheese and tomato. Top with basil.
- Drizzle good quality olive oil, balsamic reduction, and truffle salt to taste along all components on the plate. If serving burrata, drizzle on the top of that too, and you will get all of the flavors mingling when cut.
- Serve and enjoy!
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