“C’è mozzarella… e mozzarella!”—as people say in Italy—“There’s mozzarella… and then there’s mozzarella!”.
We can also push it a little further and say there is a tomato… and there is a tomato! Our favorite tomatoes are the colorful heirloom variety. Sweet, juicy and so fragrant of late summer—they are the kings of tomatoes in our kitchen and the star ingredient in our recipe today.
Perfectly paired with fresh basil, mozzarella fior di latte (cow’s milk mozzarella) and an easy 3-minute homemade dressing, we are feasting on our version of insalata caprese. It is one of the most delicious and simplest of salads.
Tomato mozzarella tower insalata caprese, an appetizer or main salad.
Going vertical is a fun way to present this classic dish. It is usually presented with the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil overlapping each other, horizontally. To the purist, traditional genuine caprese is made with just 4 ingredients, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and the best extra olive oil (you can afford) and does not include an acid like lemon or vinegar—perfection in every way.
To create a perfect meal, you must use perfect ingredients, be in a good mood so your energy is pure, have perfect eaters (family, friends or it can be just you), and of course, perfect instruments. Every person who cooks knows what it is like not to have a right size bowl or a sharp knife. We all know how easy it is to destroy a beautiful tomato or a perfect ball of mozzarella with a dull or improper knife. We have been using a Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife for about 15 years, the same one. We love the comfy handle and all around quality. We keep our Wüsthof razor sharp with a Wusthof 10-Inch Sharpening Steel which lasts forever! This combo has been the perfect pair in our kitchen and we are thankful for their work throughout the years. No complaints.
So our fabulous Wüsthof chef’s knife helped create this beautiful tomato mozzarella tower insalata caprese with ease and we celebrate this beautiful combination of ingredients that has become popular all over the world, a delicious gift from Italy.
The no-knead crusty vegan bread is a perfect accompaniment to the tomato mozzarella tower!
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes
- Handful of mini heirloom tomatoes, grape tomatoes or pearl tomatoes
- 2 fresh mozzarella, large rounds
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper, course
- Salad – Cut 1/4” slices from each tomato and mozzarella.
- Cut the mini heirloom tomatoes in half.
- Lay a tomato slice for the base. Add a slice of mozzarella.
- Sprinkle some basil, onions and drizzle a small amount of dressing on top.
- Repeat from 3 until all ingredients are used.
- Put small tomatoes around the tower and serve.
- Vinegarette – Mix honey and mustard until well incorporated.
- Add balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper to taste and mix well using a fork.
- Slowly add extra virgin olive oil and mix until the oil and vinegar is emulsified.