Caprese salad has to be my favorite summer time dish.
Basil and tomatoes are ripe and bountiful late in the summer and they pair wonderfully with mozzarella. I happened to be catching up on some episodes of the Pioneer Woman, when she made this dish for her family 4th of July party. I fell in love with the idea of layering the tomato, basil, and mozzarella. Not to mention it has to be the quickest side dish to prepare for a summer gathering.
I decided to make this caprese salad for a potluck lunch at the office. I figured this simple and delicious salad would be quick to make and go a long way for a larger group. My one rookie mistake was preparing the dish ahead of time, complete with the balsamic and olive oil drizzle. It looked beautiful and smelled like a ripe summer garden. The only issue was, I had a 45 minute commute ahead of me. Not thinking, I placed the platter on the back seat of the car. Within minutes, the back seat was covered in balsamic glaze. Not the best way to start my morning, but at least I know to prepare everything and wait until I arrive at my destination to drizzle the olive oil and balsamic glaze. Lesson learned :)
Summer Caprese Salad
Recipe by The Pioneer Woman
- 2 Cups Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Whole ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
- 12 ounces of Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thick
- Fresh basil leaves (2 leaves per tomato/mozzarella layer)
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Boil for 10-20 minutes or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Be sure to keep an eye on this and stir occasionally. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Place 2 basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Then drizzle the balsamic glaze over the salad, same as the olive oil. Store left over balsamic in the fridge. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the salad.
This salad is perfect on its own or you can serve it with toasted bread or as a side dish. Enjoy!