Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Earth Day Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Heirloom varieties are fruits and vegetables that were once cultivated but fell out of favor with big producers because they neither shipped or stored well. Many of them have superior flavor , however, and small-scale farmers have reintroduced the best varieties to farmers markets and greengrocers. Available in a wealth of sizes, flavors and colors- heirloom tomatoes are one of the glories of summer! This simple but classic salad relies on two perfect allies: ripe juicy summer tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Use your best extra virgin olive oil, good quality balsamic vinegar and freshly picked basil. This is the exact same recipe I demonstrated during the Kimberly Crest Earth Day Cooking and Gardening Class.

4-6 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
handful of fresh basil, chiffonade
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
fresh mozzarella, sliced (round balls, packaged in liquid)
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Layer one tomato slice, one mozzarella slice then repeat- one tomato, one mozzarella slice, in single rows on white plate. You should have the same number of sliced tomatoes as sliced mozzarella on plate. Chiffonade (thin ribbon-like slices) basil on top of tomato and mozzarella slices. Drip olive oil on top, puddle balsamic vinegar to side of tomato/mozzarella rows. (You can also use a sprayer to lightly coat tomatoes and mozzarella with balsamic but if you don't have a sprayer, puddle balsamic to side). Sprinkle top with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy !