Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nothing beats home-grown tomatoes

My garden is producing like crazy this week due to the 100-plus temperatures in California's San Joaquin Valley. My tomatoes are especially plentiful and delicious this season. Nothing beats a tomato that has been allowed to fully ripen on the vine. There is a sweetness and redness to home-grown tomatoes that is unmatched in store-bought varieties.

With the abundance of backyard tomatoes this year, I've had to get busy finding ways to use them. One of my favorite ways of serving vine-ripened tomatoes is in this easy and fresh-tasting Caprese dish.


2-3 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 - 8 oz. tub whole milk fresh mozzarella cheese balls (found at Trader Joe's or many grocery
stores), sliced 1/3 inches thick.

8-10 fresh basil leaves, cut in thin strips.

Olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste.

Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick and place two slices in single layers on individual salad plates. Top each tomato with a slice of mozzerella cheese and sprinkle with strips of basil. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and salt. Garnish with sprigs of basil, if you desire.


  1. That's an incredible photo of your Caprese dish, and the presentation is just glorious. Speaking of dishes. That's a fab plate. What kinds of dishes do you have? Are they everyday dishes or what my grandma called "company-coming" dishes? Wow. And that photo makes my mouth water. What a wonderful summer dish using your home-grown tomatoes.

  2. Thanks for the note, Anon. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. My dishes are everyday dishes. I have a dish obsession and have seven different sets of "everyday dishes." Thanks for noticing. Please come back to the blog often. I plan to post items regularly, and hope readers like you share in my passion for cooking and entertaining.

  3. Awesome Caprese!

  4. Dear Best Friend,
    What a wonderful idea ! You are so talented
    loved the mouth watering photo, and as I remember it was SIMPLY DELICIOUS !!!
    Love you my friend

  5. You take after your mother as far as cooking and entertaining. She was a great cook and hostess.

  6. Wow, this is awesome. Having been a taste tester of many of your recipes, I'm excited that you're sharing them with all of us. I can't wait for your recipes you make with favorite. Thanks for sharing, and I will be trying this recipe too, looks fabulous.

  7. Dear Very Best Friend,
    Your the best! Come over and cook for me.
    Love you
    YOUR BEST FRIEND ( ever )

  8. I will have something chocolate next week. Thanks for the comment.

  9. Your caprese looks wonderful I also have been on a tomatoes kick not as picturesque as yours, but we do enjoy alot of caprese salads these days, especially in this heat!
    Corys Aunt Lee

  10. Aren't we so lucky to live in the San Joaquin valley and enjoy all this fresh tasting produce? But I could do without the 112 temps. THanks for the comment Lee

  11. dear best friend, I love your caprese, you're the best cook ever! love your favorite best friend

  12. Thanks best friend! And which best friend are you?

  13. My tomatoes are finally coming in. They are a little late but they are very tasty. Not sure what varieties. They have different tastes, but they are all good. I had a toasted tomatoe sandwich with lots of mayonnaise the other day. Very yummy on a summer afternoon.

  14. This salad looks wonderful. Has anyone tried making a day ahead? Does it keep well overnight?