Thursday, July 26, 2012

Caprese Salad

This is salad in its simplest form. Caprese salad is quite easy to make. It is also a summer salad - don't even try making it anytime but the summer (unless you live somewhere very warm) because the tomatoes will not be great out of season, and great tomatoes are essential for a good caprese salad. Good mozzarella helps too. A balsamic reduction raises this caprese salad to the next level. 

Caprese Salad:

2 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
10 slices fresh mozzarella (about one mozzarella ball)
20 leaves fresh basil
1/4 cup balsamic reduction (see below)
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt

To make this salad, simply assemble thinly sliced ripe tomatoes (about 1/4 inch thick), fresh mozzarella slices of about the same size, and several basil leaves. To make each stack, begin with a tomato slice. Place several basil leaves on top of tomato slice, followed by a slice of mozzarella. Then drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and a liberal amount of balsamic reduction (see below) on top. Add some extra smaller basil leaves to the top as well. Season with freshly ground pepper and kosher salt (this depends on the salt content of your mozzarella. I barely added any salt this time because the mozzarella I used was very salty to begin with). Enjoy!

Balsamic Reduction:

3/4 cup good balsamic vinegar

Simply bring the vinegar to a slight simmer in a saucepan for 10-20 minutes allowing the liquid to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Any extra can be stored in the refrigerator.