California Central Coast Recipes

Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Nothing says "Summer time" to food lovers like fresh tomatoes, and when you have great heirloom tomatoes available, the best way to highlight them is in a Caprese style salad of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. ©2017, Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:
re-calculate ingredients for:


3 to 4 pounds assorted Heirloom Tomatoes , contrasting colors and tastes
8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Pepper and Sea Salt

Preparation Directions.

1 Wash the tomatoes and slice into about 1/4inch thick slices. (The tomatoes should be sliced perpendicular to the stem, not parallel to the stem.) You should get three to four uniform size slices per tomato. Save the smaller pieces for a tossed salad.

2 Using a cheese slicer, slice the fresh mozzarella cheese into slices (Those cheap cheese slicer with a wire cutter and a roller for spacing actually work quite well). The slices should be between 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. You need one slice of cheese for each tomato.

3 Wash the basil and cut off the larger leaves so that you have one leaf per tomato slice.

4 On a round platter, Starting on one end, place a slice of tomato, then rotate the platter slightly and place a slice of cheese so that it lays slightly under the the end of the tomato a bit, then a basil leaf.

5 Continue layering the tomato/cheese/basil until you have spiraled completely around the platter. A dinner plate will take ten to sixteen slices of tomato/cheese/basil to go around completely.

6 Drizzle the platter with extra virgin olive oil, then add salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

The ingredients are neutral in acidity and sweetness, but subtle. Almost any well balanced light wine will work well. Since the salad is made with fresh ingredients choose a similar wine - that is a young wine meant to be consumed immediately.

This salad will go with most dry,light-oak white wines. A Roussanne or Marsanne would be a very good combination.

On the slightly more daring side a young light dry but fruity red like a Valdiguie (our favorite choice) or a Gamay would go nicely also.

A tip from Sue!

If rushed, prepare your ingredients in advance.

If you know youíll be rushed at cooking time, pre-measure out as many of the ingredients as you can, and arrange them by the cooking order of the recipe.

If itís going to be more than several minutes before you actually start making the dinner, be sure to cover the perishable ingredients with plastic wrap or place in containers and put them back in the refrigerator to hold until you are ready.