Market Shift

Reimagining the caprese salad
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Traditional insalata caprese is the Wayne Newton of salads: A classic that--unless it's at its freshest--is boring. But at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new sustainability-minded Manhattan restaurant, ABC Kitchen, chef Dan Kluger gives the combo of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil a welcome touch-up with a couple of subtle additions: ribbons of fragrant mint and fresh, fiery chiles. Kluger uses a specialty aged red wine vinegar to dress his version, but everyday vinegar suits this stunning salad just fine. For the star ingredients, shopping is the most important step: Get the best tomatoes and freshest cheese you can buy.

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Herbs and Chiles

Recipe adapted from Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, New York City

Yield: 4 servings


2¼ pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges

1 pint (2 cups) mixed cherry tomatoes, halved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 basil sprigs, leaves removed and thinly sliced (about 10

1 mint sprig, leaves removed and thinly sliced (about 8 leaves)

6 ounces ciliegine (see note), drained

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar

Coarse sea salt (such as fleur de sel or Maldon)

1 small serrano chile, thinly sliced (about 12 slices)


1. In a large salad bowl, combine the heirloom tomatoes with the cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the basil and mint over the tomatoes and add the mozzarella.

2. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the tomatoes and mozzarella and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the salad. Garnish with the chile slices and serve immediately.

Note: Ciliegine are cherry-size balls of fresh mozzarella. If you are unable to find them, substitute bocconcini or fresh mozzarella cut into ½-inch cubes.

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