Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze and Fresh Basil

If you’re a tomato lover then you know that late summer into early fall is primetime for perfectly ripe and delectable tomatoes!  This salad is all about the tomatoes and that means now is a great time to make it. Look for tomatoes with perfect ripeness, texture, flavor and freshness. I find caprese is an excellent way to get the kids eating fresh tomatoes - mine love it!  As a bonus I’m still harvesting tons of fresh basil and that’s the second most important ingredient. The freshness makes it so much better.

Make sure to use a tasty extra-virgin olive oil and a high quality Balsamic vinegar reduction (Balsamic glaze) for the perfect amount of sweetness; this may take trial and error to find your favorite glaze. This is one glaze that I like and use a lot.

A fun variation on this salad is to use small balls of fresh mozzarella called ciliegine and cherry or grape tomatoes instead of their full-sized counterparts. This has the advantage of eliminating all cutting. Just combine the bite-sized mozzarella (about 8 oz) and the small tomatoes (2 pints) in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients; great for getting little helpers involved. I make the salad this way frequently and it is simple and quick to assemble and tastes just as delicious as the original.

Stretch summer out a little bit longer with this yummy combination!

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