I believe that one of the easiest salads to prepare that packs a punch as both a side dish and a satisfying light meal is a tomato and mozzarella caprese salad. Many finer restaurants offer caprese salads consisting of fresh tomatoes, soft and watery mozzarella cheese, freshly picked basil and with a drizzle of olive oil and rich balsamic vinegar. It is a dish that is hard to refuse and one that I rarely do.
But then I got to thinking, why doesn’t anyone offer an oven-roasted version of the classic caprese salad? Roasted tomatoes are one of nature’s finest delicacies and everyone knows about the magic of melted mozzarella, right? Why not put them all together and add one more dimension to a classic dish?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the caprese salad. Taken to the next level.
Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad
- 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, stem removed
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon De Nigris white eagle balsamic vinegar
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- 1 mozzarella ball, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon De Nigris gold eagle balsamic vinegar
- fresh cracked pepper
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Layer sheet pan with parchment and set aside.
- Wash tomatoes and slice in half, similar to how you would slice a bun as a sandwich.
- Place tomatoes in sheet pan with cut sides up.
- Divide and spread pesto evenly on the open ends of tomatoes.
- Drizzle tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and with the De Nigris White Eagle balsamic with 25% concentrated grape must.
- Roast tomatoes for 35 minutes.
- Add one basil leaf to the bottom half of each tomato and add sliced fresh mozzarella cheese on top of the basil. Carefully place the top piece of the tomato on top of the mozzarella. It will look like a tomato sandwich.
- Roast for an additional 5 minutes until mozzarella is melted.
- Turn on broiler to 500 degrees and roast for 5 minutes or until the top of tomatoes are bubbling. Remove from oven.
- Carefully remove tomato caprese on to serving platter.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the De Nigris Gold Eagle balsamic with 55% concentrated grape must.
- Drizzle with remaining olive oil.
- Add cracked pepper and sea salt to season and present.
- Serve and enjoy.
Arkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz writes about living and eating well from her life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie. Much of her blogging inspiration comes from this gem of a place, which she refers to as the proverbial land of milk-and-honey. Read more related to cooking, entertaining, gadget suggestions, ingredient explorations, local finds, local restaurant treasures, kitchen tour spotlights, and always with a healthy and simplistic approach.