Hello everyone! I know it’s October, but I’m really excited to share a recipe that will help you use up the last of your summer tomatoes. It’s an incredibly easy caprese salad!
You know what’s funny? One of the last things that comes to mind when I have fresh tomatoes is to make caprese salad. But recently, my sister made some at a family birthday party and it was SO GOOD! I think I ate half of it myself. Oops. It was just too delicious to pass up. From now on, I think I’ll make caprese salad an annual tradition. There’s just something about those fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar that just hits the spot.
This easy caprese salad is perfect for small get togethers, for family meals, or even just for yourself (haha). Hey, I’m not going to tell anyone if you eat the whole thing? And I mean, this salad is mostly tomatoes, so there’s no judgement here.
So what type of tomatoes should you use for this salad?
I felt very fortunate this year because my brother and sister shared their bounteous tomato supply with me. They gave me a mix of beefsteak tomatoes, hillbilly potato leaf tomatoes, pineapple tomatoes, Abu Rawan tomatoes, Brad’s Atomic Grape tomatoes, and green zebra tomatoes. Aren’t all the different colors and tomato patterns beautiful?
Now, I certainly realize not everyone will have this mixture of tomatoes at their disposal. Basically, any round, ripe tomato will do. You could even make this salad with grape or cherry tomatoes. However, if you’re at the store and are wondering what tomatoes to by for this salad, I would suggest using a vine tomato or any round tomato. I wouldn’t recommend using romaine tomatoes for this caprese salad.
Where’s the basil?
My caprese salad is a little different than others because I don’t use whole basil leaves. Yes, you can certainly use them and you should if you have them on hand. It’s perfect! But when my sister made her caprese salad, she used the basil paste in the tube and I thought the flavor was amazing! And since we all appreciate a shortcut here and there, I took this tip and used it in my salad. I mixed the basil paste with olive oil and drizzled it over the salad. It gave it the perfect amount of flavor and helped me whip this up in a flash.
Let’s talk balsamic…
I’ve seen some caprese salads without balsamic vinegar and some with balsamic vinegar. I think both are great! However, I wanted to add a little depth of flavor, so I added balsamic vinegar reduction. This was also another time saver because I bought it in a bottle at the store. However, if you have regular balsamic vinegar on hand and don’t want to buy the reduction, you can make it at home (here is a recipe). Keep in mind that balsamic reduction is super sweet, so I go sparingly with it with about a teaspoon or two.
How long in advance can you make this recipe?
I would recommend making this salad right before you plan on eating it. One reason for this is because of the tomatoes. Once you slice into these juicy, fresh tomatoes, things get super watery and the tomatoes release their juice. If you make it a little in advance, your caprese salad won’t taste very different, but it’ll just be a little watery and not look as nice.
How long does this salad last?
You mean to tell me that it wasn’t completely wolfed down in minutes? (har har!) Just kidding! If you have leftovers, of course you’ll need to place it in the fridge immediately. Plan on eating it within the next day or so.
One more thing to add–one thing I absolutely love is this Jacobsen Flake Finishing Salt. It adds the perfect flavor and coarseness which goes along very well with these fresh tomatoes.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as me, and that you’re enjoying the rest of these fresh summer tomatoes. Cheers!
Easy Caprese Salad
Enjoy fresh summer tomatoes with this easy, fresh salad.
- 2 large tomatoes (or about 3-4 small tomatoes), sliced
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon basil paste (see note)
- 1-2 teaspoons balsamic reduction
- salt and pepper to taste
Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a serving platter. Mix olive oil and basil paste together, then drizzle on top of tomatoes and mozzarella. Lightly drizzle balsamic reduction on top, then season with salt and pepper. Enjoy as soon as possible.
Basil paste is found in a small tube near the fresh herbs in the grocery store.