The scent of them wafts in the air as I walk by, reminding me that summer is almost here, and it’s time for one of my favorite side dishes. I can usually whip up a caprese in under 10 minutes, making it my go-to summer salad.
Here’s what you’ll need to serve four people:
2-3 – Large ripe tomatoes
1 – Bunch basil
8 oz. – Buffalo mozzarella
Fresh ground black pepper
To assemble the salad
Wash the tomatoes and dry. Wash the basil and pat dry. I use a salad spinner so as not to bruise the basil.
Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and place on a platter or individual plates.
Cut the mozzarella into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices. If the slices are larger than the tomatoes, cut in half or quarters. The goal is to have the cheese slices the same size as the tomatoes.
Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and place on top of the cheese. You can place one leaf on each piece of cheese if they are about the same size.
Drizzle olive oil over the stacks of tomatoes, cheese and basil. Use just a little — you don’t want to drench the salad. Grind a little pepper over the salad. Sprinkle a little salt over the top. Serve.
Buffalo mozzarella comes in three sizes, small, medium and large. The small works well with little tomatoes like Early Girl. The medium works with larger tomatoes. The large balls look more like small logs and you’ll have to cut it down to fit any tomato. Try to match the cheese to the tomatoes. This will save preparation time and your stacks of tomatoes, cheese and basil will look prettier.
You can change the flavor by replacing the olive oil with avocado or other vegetable oil.
© Bob Mack/Luvs Good Food