I've always been enamored of tomatoes. Their roundness, their softness. Their surprises. Sometimes sweet, sometimes acid, sometimes a perfect balance of the two. Growing up, I drove my mother crazy by eating all the cherry tomatoes she had reserved for salad. In my defense, they do make a great snack. Just mouthful size, there's a satisfying pop when you break the skin, and then the juices fill your mouth. Mmmmm . . .
And this time of year . . . it's tomato heaven. The markets are full of gorgeous San Marzanos, Early Girls, and my favorites, heirlooms. In all their strange multi-colored, slightly misshapen glory. Whatever variety you choose, a caprese salad is a great way to use them. The smooth creaminess of the fresh mozzarella contrasts with the acid bite of the tomatoes, and basil makes it heavenly. If you're a traditionalist, you'll finish your salad with some good olive oil, but if you're a renegade like me you'll spoon a touch of balsamic vinegar over each one. The older and thicker the vinegar, the better.
Enjoy! And tell me all about it .