Recipe: Caprese Salad with Grilled Crostini
I love, love, LOVE caprese salad, especially on warm grilled crostini. It’s complete heaven! This is by far my favorite summer time meal from my garden. Fresh, healthy, colorful, and full of one of this world’s best flavor combinations…..tomatoes and basil. Some low fat mozzarella, olive oil, and crunchy toast completely put it over the top. I can literally eat this until I’m sick, and still want more.
Choose firm, ripe tomatoes, either out of your garden or at your local farmers market. Don’t waste your time with grocery store bought “tomatoes” for this dish. I like to use a variety of tomatoes out of my garden. Heirlooms and hybrids combined create different colors and tastes which I just adore. Beautiful and simple, yet carrying a level of sophistication that is hard to explain, it’s hard to imagine that we didn’t eat tomatoes a couple hundred years ago out of fear of them being poisonous.
Make sure you only use fresh mozzarella for this dish. The hard block kind just won’t do. I’ve used buffalo mozzarella before, but don’t like it as well as the cow’s milk variety, as it seems to overpower the tomato to me. The mozzarella should be soft, wet, and clean tasting. I find that Costco sells a nice fresh mozzarella.
How to Make Caprese Salad with Grilled Crostini
Start by slicing a loaf of French bread into 3/4 inch slices. Drizzle both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season with cracked black pepper. Grill over high heat for a minute or two on both sides until toasted and nice grill lines appear. Remove and stack on a serving platter….. I like to use a wooden cutting board for a more rustic presentation.
Slice the tomatoes into thick slices. Slice the mozzarella into slices to match the thickness of the tomato slices. This doesn’t have to be exact, just make them look somewhat even.
Place a slice of mozzarella on a piece of crostini. Top with a slice of tomato. Sprinkle kosher salt and cracked black pepper on the tomato. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Top with a basil leaf. Stuff promptly into your mouth and close your eyes in delight.
Caprese Salad with Grilled Crostini Recipe
- 1 loaf French bread
- 4-5 medium size tomatoes
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Serves 2 for dinner, or 5-6 as an appetizer
Recipe by Jothan Yeager, August 2011
The Bald Gourmet loves making Caprese Salad from the fresh tomatoes and basil in his garden. Try growing a garden of your own. It will change your life and eating for good.