Caprese Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella

One medium tomato (1/3 pound) yields enough for a salad for one person, a large tomato (3/4 to 1 pound)  yields enough for two people. So scale the recipe up or down accordingly. If you are serving 4 people, you'll need about 4 medium-sized tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes. (These proportions yield a generously portioned salad.)

For a completely different flavor, you can substitute the mozzarella with thin slices of Parmesan.

Feel free to omit the balsamic vinegar if you want highlight more of the flavor of the tomatoes.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick (a serrated knife works best for slicing tomatoes)
  • Coarse salt like kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves carefully chopped or torn as not to bruise
  • 8 ounces, fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment:

Method

1 Salt the tomatoes: Sprinkle salt lightly over the tomato slices.

2 Assemble the salad: Assemble the salad by arranging alternating slices of tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella slices.

3 Dress the salad: Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the salad. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar, if using. Sprinkle lightly with pepper.