I LOVE Caprese Salad. Who doesn't??? Mozzarella Cheese, tomatoes, basil and olive oil ... Yum!! Unfortunately, my tomato plants haven't quite produced their fruit yet BUT my cherry tomato plant is producing like CRAZY!!! I have so many cherry tomatoes that I can't eat them fast enough. Believe me - I'm not upset about it. I was looking for something healthy and light to eat for lunch yesterday and I was really craving a caprese salad so I decided to make it but with cherry tomatoes instead!
Normally, I slice up nice some Roma tomatoes (or any tomato, really!), then slice up some fresh imported Mozzarella cheese, and finally, stack those with large basil leaves. I drizzle them with high-quality Extra Virgin First Pressed Italian Olive Oil and sprinkle them with Italian sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
But with this bumper crop of grape tomatoes coming in, I chose to make a Caprese salad instead. This salad uses all of the same ingredients, just in smaller pieces. You can eat it by the fork or the spoonful! I also ripped off a chunk of fresh Italian bread to serve along with the salad to spoon some salad on top and eat or to mop up the flavored olive oil! Mmmmm, just pure and simple heaven!
Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Basil
4 - 5 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
1 lb fresh imported Italian mozzarella, cut into 1/4 - 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup extra virgin, first preseed Italian olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar for a more mild flavor)
10 - 15 large fresh basil leaves (to taste)
Italian sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh Italian bread
Toss together the tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Tear the basil into large pieces and toss into the salad.
Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve immediately (can be refrigerated to serve a little bit later too).
Serve with fresh, crusty Italian bread
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