Caprese salad with a balsamic reduction is a delight to eat. It is light and refreshing and super easy to make. The salad itself contains good quality tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and sweet basil. It’s then dressed with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or a homemade balsamic reduction.
Planning your Meal
When you are planning a dinner party or a romantic dinner for two, it is important that your three courses go together. If you are serving something lighter as an appetizer then you can afford to have something heavier for the main course. When it comes to light meals that are packed with flavor then try out Scallops with a light pea puree. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a more decadent dinner such as oxtail stew, steak or a rich and creamy risotto.
Tips for Balsamic Reduction for the Caprese Salad
- Be careful when boiling balsamic vinegar as it can be quite pungent. Try not to inhale the fumes while cooking.
- It is very easy to over boil the balsamic reduction. If in doubt, remove it earlier rather than later. It will continue to thicken as it cools so as soon as you think it has thickened, remove from the heat.
- If you have a sweeter tooth, then add honey, sugar or maple syrup to your balsamic reduction.
- As there are only 3 main ingredients, try to use the highest quality produce that you can afford. Fresh plump tomatoes and fresh basil leaves are a must. Buffalo mozzarella (“mozzarella di bufala“) would be my first choice but normal mozzarella is a good alternative if you can’t find or can’t afford buffalo mozzarella.
- Room temperature tomatoes are better than refrigerated ones. Storing tomatoes in the fridge tends to make them watery and slightly tasteless. If they are lacking in flavor try slowly roasting them with some garlic and olive oil.
Easy Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction
- 100 ml Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 large Tomatoes cut into ½ inch slices
- 270 g Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese cut into ½ inch slices
- 8 fresh Basil Leaves washed and dried
- Pinch of Salt
- Pinch of Black Pepper
- Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Heat the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over a medium high heat. Bring it to a boil then reduce it to a medium heat. Simmer until it has reduced by half.
- After 10-15 minutes, it should look like it is starting to thicken.
- Once reduced, remove from the heat and pour it into a clean bowl. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- The reduction will keep for up to 2 weeks in an air tight jar in the fridge.
Plating the Salad
- Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices nicely on a plate.
- Season with the salt and pepper and add the basil leaves.
- Drizzle with olive oil and the balsamic reduction. Enjoy.
- Be careful when boiling vinegar as it can be quite pungent. Try not to inhale the fumes while cooking.
- It’s very easy to over boil the balsamic reduction. If in doubt remove it earlier rather than later.