Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad
In Italy, where this salad is known as insalata caprese (salad in the style of the island of Capri), creamy fresh mozzarella and juicy, sun-ripened tomatoes find their way into many dishes, though none as perfect as this simple salad. This is a classic summertime dish, so don’t even consider making it with out-of-season tomatoes or plastic-sheathed mozzarella.
For this recipe, it is essential to use best-quality ripe tomatoes. If you can get them in season, try different heirloom varieties such as Green Zebra or Brandywine. You can also halve and scatter a handful of sweet cherry or grape tomatoes over the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella before drizzling with olive oil.
- 3 or 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- About 10 fresh basil leaves
Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into slices 1/4 inch thick.
On a serving platter, overlap slices of tomato and mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil. Tear the basil into small pieces and sprinkle over the salad. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).