This is one of the quickest, easiest and tastiest salads you can make. The beautiful colors and freshness of the tomatoes and basil make it a striking appetizer for dinner parties. My family loves it so much that I occasionally serve it as a side dish with the main meal. The balsamic vinegar and fresh basil bring out the flavor from the tomatoes and cheese. Simply slice everything up and server on a pretty platter to add a touch of elegance.
You can slice the cheese, tomatoes and basil ahead of time but only pour the balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the salad 5 minutes before serving. This prevents the salad from getting soggy. Also, to avoid wasting the tomato, hide the not so pretty slices under the rows or down the middle.
- 6 large tomatoes (you can also use the smaller vine ripe ones but you will double them up per cheese slice when you start layering)
- 1 16oz package of FRESH mozzarella cheese
- 1 bunch of FRESH basil
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (you can also use the white balsamic vinegar. It has the same flavor as the original one but won’t stain your cheese.
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
Wash, rinse and dry the tomatoes. Be sure to scoop the little core out with a knife or tomato corer. Slice the tomatoes about a ¼ inch thick into circles. Cut the fresh mozzarella about 1/8 inch thick. Start layering the tomato, and cheese on your platter alternating with each one. Chop the basil into long thin strips and generously sprinkle across the top of the tomatoes and mozzarella. Then if you are ready to serve the salad, drizzle the olive oil and vinegar down the middle of your tomato/mozzarella rows. Make sure you cover the whole platter and don’t be afraid to add more olive oil or vinegar then the recipe calls for. Finally season with salt and cracked pepper to taste and serve.