- 4 ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom or vine-ripened
- 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or cubed
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare the Tomatoes: Wash and slice the ripe tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. If you're using cherry or grape tomatoes, you can cut them in half.
- Assemble the Caprese Salad: On a serving platter or individual plates, arrange the tomato slices, alternating with slices or cubes of fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Add Fresh Basil: Tuck fresh basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices. You can leave them whole or tear them for added flavor.
- Drizzle with Olive Oil: Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil evenly over the tomato and mozzarella slices.
- Optional Balsamic Vinegar: If desired, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the salad for a touch of sweetness and acidity. You can also use balsamic glaze for a thicker and sweeter drizzle.
- Season and Serve: Season the Caprese salad with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve Immediately: Caprese salad is best enjoyed fresh. Serve it immediately as a refreshing appetizer or side dish.
This classic Caprese salad celebrates the simplicity of fresh ingredients and the harmony of flavors. It's a delightful dish that's perfect for showcasing the vibrant colors and tastes of summer.