Caprese Salad with Deconstructed Pesto

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella (or regular will do as well...)
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts (recipe below)
  • 8 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Torn fresh basil leaves (I used purple... note to self- don't use purple)
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp high quality olive oil

Method

  1. Pre heat the over to 400˚ F.
  2. Place tomatoes and mozzarella in bowl you plan to serve them in. You can either slice them and align them together or place the slices of tomatoes around the mozzarella and serve with a cheese knife to allow guests to take the amount they would like. Season both with a good amount of salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of olive oil
  3. Prepare the glaze: bring the balsalmic vinegar to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until it is reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Toast the pine nuts in the oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Scatter the pine nuts and basil over the tomatoes and mozzarella.  When ready to serve,  drizzle with the balsamic*.

*Do the balsamic as the very last step as the plate is about to be served. Otherwise it will melt into the cheese a bit and cause a brownish color on the cheese which is... well, kinda gross looking!