Using up your garden tomatoes: Mozzarella Caprese Salad

The heat of the summer is upon us and vine-ripened fresh tomatoes are in abundance both in your garden and at Farmer's Markets throughout the country.

 Vine ripened tomatoes Easy Gluten-Free Cooking

Here's a quick way to use up those gorgeous red beauties bursting with summertime flavor: 

Mozzarella Caprese Salad

This southern Italian favorite is quick and easy and makes use of the plentiful tomatoes and fresh basil available in mid-summer.  It also uses fresh mozzarella which is a semi-soft cheese that is packed in water.  If you can't find fresh mozzarella in the dairy section at your grocer look for it in your grocer's deli section.

Ingredients

4 vine-ripened tomatoes, washed, de-stemmed, and sliced thickly in 3/8" slices
8 oz fresh mozzarella packed in water, drained, sliced thickly in 3/8" slices
fresh basil leaves, washed and de-stemmed  (substitute dried basil if necessary)
2 TBSP good-quality extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Instructions

1.  Wash and de-stem the tomatoes.  Slice the tomatoes in 3/8" thick slices.
2.  Drain the mozzarella.  Slice the mozzarella in 3/8" thick slices.
3.  On a serving plate slightly overlap alternating slices of tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves (if available). 
4.  Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil.
5.  Season with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper.  If fresh basil leaves are not available you may sprinkle with a pinch or two of dried basil.
6.  Serve at room temperature.

It's that simple.  This salad makes a wonderful appetizer on a hot summer day and goes well with a peppery Syrah or zesty Sangiovese red wine.  It's also great as a light vegetarian meal.

 

Julie Cameron

At Easy Gluten-Free Cooking we have one mission:  to help those who are sensitive to gluten learn how to eliminate gluten from their diet while still enjoying healthy, delicious meals that are easy to cook and inexpensive to prepare. 

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