In a few short weeks, gardeners in some parts of the country will be picking their early tomatoes. After looking at new ways to use my own garden’s tomatoes, I came across a beautiful and simple presentation for Caprese salad: Horizontally sliced whole tomatoes stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil leaves in between layers of ripe, ruby red summer tomatoes! This presentation is so genius and so pretty on the plate!
On the platter, I include one Caprese Tomato drizzled with balsamic vinegar and two Caprese Tomatoes drizzled only with olive oil to give guests a choice.
Crack some fresh black pepper and sea salt all over the top of the Caprese Tomatoes. I also like to sprinkle the platter with a blend of Italian herbs that you can pick up at any food store. Garnish the presentations with more fresh basil leaves and that’s it! You’ve got a beautiful presentation—remember, we eat with our eyes first!
3 – 4 ripe tomatoes
2 – 3 balls of soft Italian mozzarella
15 – 20 large, fresh basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar and/or glaze
• Slice tomatoes about 1/4" thick, but NOT ALL THE WAY THROUGH; leave a tiny bit unsliced. You want the tomatoes to open up like a fan and intact as one tomato.
• Slice the soft mozzarella in the same width as what you sliced the tomatoes, about 1/4" thick
• On a serving platter, place slices of soft mozzarella in between each tomato slice.
• Place one large basil leaf next to each slice of mozzarella cheese.
• Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or glaze.
• Garnish with fresh sprigs of basil.