Tomato season is here at last! To honor the arrival of this divine vegetable-that’s-actually-a-fruit, I thought I would offer up one of my favorite recipes here on Recipes from the Road. This is a simple but fail-proof Caprese that highlights all the juicy and bright acidic flavor of a great tomato. Better yet, it doesn’t even require you to turn on the stove. So, grab a good knife, head over to a farmer’s market or a road-side stand along the way then grab a bushel of tomatoes and a bundle of fresh basil for the road.
- 2 heirloom (or beefsteak) tomatoes
- 6 small yellow tomatoes
- 28 fresh basil leaves
- Fleur de sel (or your favorite sea salt)
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 balls of burrata (or buffalo mozzarella balls)
- 1 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Divide the recipe in half for each plate. Slice tomatoes and arrange them on the plate, top with basil leaves and slices of burrata (or mozzarella). Then dust with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Voila.
A quick note: High quality balsamic vinegar is one of life’s special treats. If you’re looking for something special, I highly recommend Venturi Schulze. Their world-class balsamic is crafted on Vancouver Island in the ancient method by a man who hails from Modena, Italy (the birthplace of balsamic). All of his grapes are grown on his estate and are aged according to tradition. The dynamite flavor is well worth the price tag if you’re reaching for something that cannot be found on the vinegar aisle at your local grocery store. And stay tuned for our Vancouver Island trip on Destination Regency!
As for wine pairings, this dish pairs well with numerous white wines or a Provence Rosé, but I personally love a nice bottle of Chianti here. Subtle undertones of tomato leaf and basil in the wine actually elevate a Caprese Salad in a most unexpected, delightful way.
So, enjoy the arrival of fresh garden tomatoes and happy trails to you!