Our garden is starting to produce a variety of tomatoes. Here is one of our favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes fresh from the garden. This traditional Italian salad is easy to prepare, a true flavor-flash on the palate, and very pretty when plated.
½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced ¼-inch thick)
2 large ripe tomatoes (sliced ¼-inch thick)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
You can prepare the salad as shown above or overlap the tomatoes. To overlap, arrange tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a circular design around the side of a serving plate. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sprinkle capers over the top. Capers are optional but I like the extra flavor. Caprese purists will want to leave them off the salad.
Just before serving, drizzle an excellent quality olive oil over the salad. Serve immediately.
See Chef Randy’s food blog for more recipes at: http://valleyvegetarian.blogspot.com