Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

In my humble opinion, 'aint nuthin' better than a caprese salad. It is one of my most favorite things in the entire culinary universe. I think it's so great because it combines some very simple ingredients to make a powerful yet subtle flavor combination.

The end of the summer is the perfect time to make a caprese salad, as you can easily pluck (or in my case, buy) a beautiful, sun-warmed tomato fresh off the vine. I particularly like heirloom tomatoes for this summer salad because of their variety in color and shape which makes for a beautiful, beautiful (did I say beautiful?) dish. See above if you don't believe me.

When I was buying these beauties in the supermarket (don't judge...they were organic I swear) the cute little teenage boy who was ringing up our groceries held them up and asked me what they were. "Heirloom tomatoes," I responded. So he rang up the two reddish purple ones and the orange one. Then he held up the yellow one and said, "And what's this? A pepper?" Uh, no, sweetie. In his defense, it was sort of shaped like one but that's what makes them so fun!

- Three to Four Heirloom Tomatoes
- Six to Eight round slices of fresh Mozzarella cheese
- A handful of fresh Basil leaves
- Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (this is when you bring out the best in the cupboard)
- Drizzle of Red Wine Vinegar
- A generous pinch or two of sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper

Slice your heirloom tomatoes into rounds. Slice the mozzarella cheese into rounds. Cut basil leaves into strips or keep them whole - depends on how you want it to look on the plate. Arrange the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on a plate. drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I like to let the salad sit for 30 min or so before serving so the tomatoes and mozzarella can soak up all the good stuff. Eat with knife and fork! And please, pair with a glass of red wine. Please.

I will fully confess that I ate the entire plate all by myself. Andy isn't a big fan of my "hippie food" sometimes and that's just fine with me - just means I get it all!

Also, I love making this as a lunch for myself for work. I put all of the ingredients in a Tupperware the night before and let it all marinade until lunch the next day. Those are the days when I think about my lunch every 15 minutes and then finally cave in and eat it at 11:30. I do not pair this with a glass of wine. But I wish I could.

Happy end of summer and end of tomato month! Phew...got this one in just under the wire.