There are many reasons I love summer: the warm early summer weather (not this 100+ degree heat we’ve been having), sleeping in, getting to spend time with Tim and Josie, the drive-in movie theater, traveling, and the wonderful produce (to name a few). Nothing says summer quite like fresh tomatoes from the garden. When I was growing up, my mom always grew tomatoes in the garden, and I could hardly wait to get a hold of the sweet, juicy treasures.
Now I’m grown up and out of the house, but my mom still grows tomatoes and she’s nice enough to share them with me when we see each other. The other day she gave me a few, and I wasted no time in using all of them in various dishes. Today I wanted to share with you this simple and beautiful caprese salad. I feel bad even calling this a recipe because it requires no cooking and just a few ingredients. It’s really just a method of preparation and presentation. The fresh mozzarella and basil are a must. I served our caprese on a bed of spinach, but of course that’s optional. It does make it look extra fancy though.
- 1 large vine ripened tomato
- 5 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
- about 10-12 leaves of fresh basil
- 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- handful of baby spinach, optional
Cut the core out of the top of the tomato. With a serrated knife, cut five slits into the tomato, being careful not to cut all the way through. In each slit, place a slice of mozzarella and a couple of leaves of basil. Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. Serve on a bed of spinach if desired.