Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad is the perfect summer dish.  Juicy heirloom tomatoes, bursting with ripeness, join with creamy mozzarella and sweet basil for a light but very flavorful treat.  Select a variety of heirloom tomatoes of different colors and sizes for more interest.  If you can’t find heirloom tomatoes, use really fresh, ripe beefsteak tomatoes, preferably purchased at a farmers’ market.  Use whole milk mozzarella, it will have the moist, creamy texture required and a very good taste.  If you can find buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala) by all means please use it in this recipe for even better taste.  Large, ruffled Genovese basil leaves are traditional for this dish; their aromatic perfume and deep green color really bring the right flavor note.  We like to combine Genovese basil leaves and some other varieties (small leaf Lemon and Lime basils, Dark Purple Opal basil, Thai Holy basil and Siam Queen basil and a new variety spicy Serrated Leaf basil).  The different basil leaves each add their own flavor elements, not to mention additional color and textural elements.  Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad is a delicious light lunch and the perfect summer appetizer, perhaps before Grilled Shrimp Scampi Pasta or Swordfish with Lemon Caper Sauce.

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Total Time: 15 minutes.  Serves 2.

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  • 4 or 5 Heirloom Tomatoes*
  • 8 slices fresh Whole Milk Mozzarella*
  • 1 Tb fresh Basil leaves
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
  • Pinch of fine Sea Salt


  1. Using a sharp, serrated knife, core the tomatoes and cut them into very thin slices.
  2. Cut the mozzarella into ¼-inch thick slices and arrange 4 slices of mozzarella on each plate.
  3. Arrange the tomato slices in-between and on top of the mozzarella slices on each plate.
  4. Rinse the basil leaves and shake them dry. Make a pile of them, then roll them up into a thin tube. Using a sharp knife, slice the tube of rolled basil leaves across into thin strips. If you are using very small basil leaves, there is no need to slice them.  Scatter the basil over the mozzarella and tomato slices on each plate.
  5. Pour one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over the salad on each plate.
  6. Sprinkle a pinch of fine sea salt over the Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad on each plate, wait two or three minutes to allow the flavors to mingle and serve

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad


  • Heirloom tomatoes can be purchased at farmers markets and at some specialty grocers and supermarkets. With a little planning and yard space, you can easily grow your own as we do.
  • Do not use part skim or low-fat mozzarella as these types of mozzarella lack the moist, creamy texture not to mention better taste of whole milk mozzarella.
  • We recommend using a fruity extra virgin olive oil versus a more robust one when preparing Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad for better taste.

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