I adore the classic caprese ingredients – tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil – and this delicious salad combines them perfectly with a splash of tart balsamic vinegar. The flavors of this salad are intensified by simmering down the tomato juice, garlic and vinegar and whisking together a quick vinaigrette.
After I got over the hesitancy to dig into something so pretty, this was definitely a hard one to stop eating. Light, flavorful and so very fresh, this would be perfect alongside a BBQ spread or simply by itself.
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt together. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes so that the tomatoes give up some of their juices. Transfer the tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to a salad spinner and spin to remove the seeds and the liquid. Then pour the accumulated seeds and liquid into a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds, reserving the liquid. (I don’t have a salad spinner, so I dumped the all of the tomatoes and juices into a fine mesh strainer set over a liquid measuring cup and pressed on the tomatoes lightly to give up more of their juices. I picked out a few of the seeds but didn’t worry so much about eliminating all of them.) Return the tomatoes to the original bowl and pour the tomato liquid into a small saucepan (you should have between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of liquid).
- To the small saucepan, add the vinegar and garlic. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. This will take about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then whisk in the olive oil.
- Add the mozzarella cheese, basil and cooled dressing to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Recipe Source: from Cook’s Country Aug/Sept 2009