You can bet that once really good tomatoes start showing up at the market that we'll be eating our weight in caprese salads.
What makes caprese so great is its simplicity: All you really need are some sweet sliced tomatoes, rounds of fresh mozzarella, a handful of basil leaves, salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
But a little change is good every so often. This year, we're going to mix things up by using a variety of colorful heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with copious amounts of basil, mint and chives (seasoned with salt to bring out their flavor) and paired with big dollops of silky, sexy burrata.
And we're going to dress the tomatoes in a shallot-y tomato vinaigrette. It may be more work than opening a bottle of olive oil, but you'll love the bright flavors in the finished salad as much as we do.
To learn more, read "Perfecting the Caprese."
Caprese SaladRecipe from the Tasting Table Test kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 25 minutes
For the Tomato Vinaigrette:
½ cup small heirloom cherry tomatoes, such as Sun Gold
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely diced shallots
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt, to taste
For the Salad:
8 large heirloom tomatoes, such as Brandywine, Green Zebra and Cherokee Purple
1 cup (6 ounces) small heirloom tomatoes, such as Sun Gold, halved
Flaky sea salt, to taste, plus more to finish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to finish
2 8-ounce balls burrata, torn into quarters
½ cup of loosely packed basil, torn (use a variety, such as Italian, lemon and bush basil, if possible)
¼ cup loosely packed mint, torn
2 tablespoons sliced chives
1. Make the tomato vinaigrette: In a food processor or a blender, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, shallots and lemon zest and purée until completely smooth. Season with salt and put in the refrigerator until ready to use. Note: The vinaigrette can be made 3 to 4 hours ahead.
2. Make the salad: Using a serrated knife, slice half of the large heirloom tomatoes into rounds and the other half into wedges. Transfer the heirloom and cherry tomatoes to a large mixing bowl and dress with the tomato vinaigrette. Season the tomatoes generously with salt and gently toss. Transfer the tomatoes to a large platter and place the burrata around the tomatoes.
3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the basil, mint and chives, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and toss. Scatter the herbs on top of the tomatoes and burrata. Finish the salad with another drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.
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