Salad Caprese


Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil... hard to go wrong.

Unless, of course, you go shopping with a crabby children who harass you with their sighs and force you to randomly grab at cheeses such that you return home and discover that you have purchased half a pound of smoked mozzarella. It actually wasn't terrible but it added a fake flavor to something that should have tasted like pure sunshine and summer. So pay attention! Read the package.

I read a tip in Cook's Country magazine that suggested you drain the tomatoes and then add the saved tomato water back into the salad after reducing it with some vinegar. I liked the idea but decided it could use some more oomph. I had a little can of tomato juice to spare so...

1 pt grape tomatoes, quartered (unless you do not have a chokables phobia; halved is probably fine)
1/2 t salt

Toss tomatoes with salt (unless I specify table salt I always mean Kosher, by the by) and let sit for thirty minutes. 

Drain tomatoes through fine-meshed sieve over medium bowl. Stir them gently to try to release as much liquid as possible. Pour tomato liquid into measuring cup and then put drained tomatoes into bowl. Add

tomato juice

to bring tomato liquid to half a cup. I experimented and using half a cup of straight tomato juice works really well too. Combine the tomato juice/tomato water in a saucepan with:

1 garlic clove, minced
1 T red wine vinegar (or balsamic)

and boil until reduced by a third. Take off heat and allow to cool. Then whisk in:

2 T olive oil

Set aside. To tomatoes in bowl add:

8 oz mozarella, diced
1/4 c fresh basil, slivered

Toss with the dressing and top with fresh ground black pepper. Taste for salt but I doubt you'll need it.

Note: This served me and Steve and Caroline. You might want to use two pints of tomatoes if you are feeding more/bigger people. The dressing should suffice without doubling, though, I think.


Tomato juice. Brilliant. It adds the salt too, I would imagine.

It seems like such a lot of extra work, though, then just slicing the tomatos and buffalo mozzerella and drizzling with basil, then olive oil and balsamic, which is how I've always made a caprese.

I'm trying to fake better tomato flavor with those generally tasteless grocery grapes while I am waiting for my damned hanging tomato plants to ripen.

But yes. A fresh tomato is hard to improve.

Mmmmmm. Pure sunshine and summer.

I just made this and it is absolutely delicious! Yum.

@Amy your way is definitely easier but I think I'd do it Julia's way if tiny people with tiny fingers were going to be feeding themselves.

Yum...Thanks for sharing. Different from my usual caprese, in a good way. Just fyi, low-sodium v8 works well, too, if you don't happen to have tomato juice hanging around.

Also? Pizza dough recipe, please? I'm tired of buying the crappy ones from the store.

I love your writing, and I love your recipes. Thanks for sharing with all of us out here in the ether.

We have a family favorite that is basically this recipe with the addition of big, freshly toasted bread chunks/croutons. You mix everything, including bread, and then let the whole thing sit for an hour before eating. We call it "bread salad" so the kids think it is great. Love the cooking blog, thanks for sharing!

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