Sunday, August 29, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

We invited friends to join us for dinner last evening mainly because we wanted to share in an extraordinary event: we finally had picked our first 5 fresh and beautiful heirloom tomatoes - one 'Nile River' and the others, 'Ashleigh' - and a favourite salad would accompany our meal.

I started seeds in the spring and with the cold wet June, the larger tomatoes in the Pacific northwest simply have not produced until now... the last of August. We have had 'Sun Golds', the small sweet orange-colored cherry tomato and the red 'Sweet 100's' for most of the month, so we have not been totally void of tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella from Diana's kitchen
(Insalata Caprese)

Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh soft Mozzarella, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar
Basil, lightly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Alternately layer fresh sliced tomatoes with soft mozzarella. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a light sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and the lightly chopped fresh basil, and you have a most delicious and simple summer salad. (cherry tomatoes in the center of the plate)

Although we had a NY strip steak with sauteed mushrooms and fresh grilled zucchini from the garden, this in itself would make a meal. Imagine a nice grilled crusty bread and a glass of wine... uhmm.

P.S. I have read that a true Caprese salad does not have vinegar, but don't tell our taste buds that. We love some balsamic along with the extra virgin olive oil.