When I first saw the pictures and recipe for this beautiful salad I knew I would have to make it when my fresh basil was ready to be picked. So, today is the day (6-7-14) to try out this pretty salad using Kumato tomatoes, fresh mozarella, homemade pesto (from last year) and a balsamic glaze. They are just delicious and a special thanks to Patty Nguyen for introducing me to this fantastic summer combination. You can find her original recipe here.
Caprese Salad Stacks
- kumato tomatoes (see comment below) or any small tomato, sliced thinly
- fresh mozarella, sliced 1/3-inch thick – I buy the egg shaped which fits the tomatoes perfectly
- homemade pesto or a Weight Watcher’s pesto version
- balsamic vinegar glaze (see below) or buy a prepared balsamic glaze
- fresh basil chiffonade, or use the tiny leaves of Green Bouquet basil (see comment below)
I made two different balsamic glazes. I used a good quality vinegar (no, not a $50.00 bottle), about 1 cup and to one of the vinegars I added 2 tbsp. sugar. Cook until reduced by 2/3, about 20-30 minutes. You want it to be thick and coat the back of a spoon. I also tried my Balsamic Vinegar vinaigrette which is great on a bed of lettuce but not for this dish. I preferred the balsamic glaze with a little sugar in it.
Assembly: tomato slice, mozarella slice, pesto, tomato, mozarello, pesto; end with a tomato slice. I would pat dry the tomato and mozarella slices with a piece of scott towel before assembling. Also, drain the pesto of any excess oil.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 cup (or to taste) of honey or light brown sugar
Combine the above ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes; be careful the last 5 minutes or so to be sure it is not too thick. Likewise you want it thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Or to make it easy just buy a Balsamic Glaze like in the picture below.
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2014/06/14/caprese-salad-stacks/
Comment: The tomatoes I bought were greenhouse grown and came from Canada. On the package it was stated that these tomatoes won the Superior Taste Award from the International Taste & Quality Institute – Brussels. They certainly are delicious as I can attest to that. Apparently, there are 3 stages of flavor; 1) slightly green with a mild flavor; 2) brownish at its peak flavor and 3) slightly reddish with a mild flavor. Well, if you look at the tomatoes I bought they all have some green, brown and red. The tomato Kumato “Cultivated with the benefit of many years of experience, it combines traditional secrets with an extraordinary taste”. I wish they would share their secret!!!
Comment: There are many types of basil available and this is one of my favorites. Ocimum basilicum “Green Bouquet” is a sweet, compact bushy basil with 1/2-inch long pungent leaves. There is also a another variety called “Spicy Globe” which is also compact.
I love this plant because you can put it in a container, use it for edging or out in the garden. Anyone can grow this even in partial shade. Just pick off the leaves you need and there is no chopping, just use the leaves whole in salads, soups – the list is endless when it comes to this beautiful little plant.