Drum roll-trumpet fanfare! Michigan tomatoes, in all of their glory, are heralding their return on backyard vines and market stands across town. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate their arrival than with an Insalata Caprese (tomato and fresh mozzarella salad) served with a loaf of freshly baked artisan bread.
Caprese Salads are one of my quintessential “no-recipe recipes”. “Summertime” is the first ingredient on the recipe list-that’s when local tomatoes and freshly grown basil are at their peak of flavor. Make sure you use a full-flavored extra virgin olive oil. I prefer using locally made fresh Serra or Zingerman’s mozzarella.
My “Lemon Boy” tomatoes are at their backyard peak and fresh basil is abundant in my kitchen garden. I purchased my red tomatoes from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. When my cherry tomatoes ripen, I will pair them with the smaller fresh cherry mozzarella balls, leaving both whole, in a balsamic vinaigrette.
I included my recipe for tonight but it will change In a couple of weeks with the arrival of the fancifully shaped and colorful Heirloom German Tomatoes. I may garnish that platter with capers. Whimsy is what makes each Insalata Caprese Salad a unique palate of color with summertime flavor.