Baby Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozz and Basil

May 5th

Who doesn’t love Caprese salad? No one. And once again without the double negative, EVERYONE loves this amazing combo. And really, it’s beautifully healthy in that it’s a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and healthy fats. Don’t just make this as a summer side with burgers – I tupperwared this for several work lunches and looked forward to it all morning!

The sliced tomatoes, slabs of cheese, and whole basil leaves make a typical Caprese salad fall under the heading of  “serve immediately”, mostly because the tomatoes release water and make everything disgustingly soggy. America’s Test Kitchen has a trick for this. By swapping the type of tomato, treating them with some sugar and salt, and letting them rest for a bit, the moisture gets drawn out. After a quick whirl in the salad spinner, they’re nice and dry.

Now, nothing beats a Jersey tomato in July and to be honest, these ‘maters spoil me to the point that I’m basically intolerant to all other tomatoes. By using the little grape babies, you’re ensured no mushiness and lots of bright flavor. Here’s my (and by “my” I mean Rachel Ray’s) trick to cutting the teeny tomatoes in one fell swoop.

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Place the tomatoes between two tupperware lids and slide them through with the bread knife, being sure to hold the top securely in place. Genius!

Make this salad for any spring/summer barbeque OR for your own weekday dinners/lunches.

Baby Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozz and Basil

Serves 4-6

2 pints grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

pinch dried oregano

1 c. lightly packed, torn, fresh basil

8 oz. fresh mozzarella, chopped into 1 inch cubes

1. Combine tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. of the salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside for about 20 minutes.

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2. Meanwhile, combine shallot, garlic, vinegar and oil in a large mixing bowl.

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3. After the 20 minutes, spin tomatoes in a salad spinner for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes to large mixing bowl with shallot mixture.

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4. Add remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, oregano, basil and mozzarella. Mix lightly to combine. Serve.

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