Although I am personally not a huge fan of eating fresh tomatoes, I really enjoy eating this salad. Making this Heirloom tomato salad served with basil balsamic vinaigrette is extremely easy and it displays so well because of the bright color contrast. All you need are a few basic ingredients, I always buy min from Trader Joe’s because they always carry everything needed to make this dish:
- Heirloom Tomatoes (4 large)
- Fresh Mozzarella (8 oz) *I use the Burrata Fresh Mozzarella Cheese filled with Cream
- 12 Year Balsamic Vinegar (2 Tbsp) *The older the better
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/4 cup)
- Fresh Basil (6-8 leaves)
- Kosher Salt (a pinch)
The only part of this dish that requires a little work is making the basil balsamic vinaigrette. Take your Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, fresh basil and kosher salt and mix them all together.
For the basil balsamic vinaigrette dressing you should ideally use a mortar and pestle if you have one. Although you don’t need a mortar and pestle all the time, it really works well whenever you want to use fresh herbs because grinding the leaves is the best way to release the essential oils. Add in your leaves, salt, balsamic vinegar and EVOO, then grind the leaves until they are completely smashed. It should look like the images below.
Now transfer the mixture into a smooth bowl and whisk it all together until the vinegar and the oil blend together. Once you have your balsamic vinaigrette, cut your tomatoes and marinade them in the vinaigrette (best overnight). For the Mozzarella it needs to be fresca (fresh), the best is it if is kept in whey (suspended in the milk whey used in the mozzarella creation process). You cannot use low moister mozzarella, so just make sure it is the soft fresh kind. When you plate your salad, just make sure there is enough mozzarella so you can get a little piece with every bite of tomato, then drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette onto the plate. This is a very simple dish to make, but it is loaded with fresh flavor.
You can also use mini Heirloom tomatoes and mini Mozzarella balls. This is how I make this dish when I want to serve it on-the-go or when I have to serve a lot of people at once.