CHERRY TOMATO CAPRESE SALAD

Light, flavorful and so easy to make, this cherry tomato caprese salad is a favorite summer side dish. The fresh basil and mozzarella take it way over the top!
With the beastly hot weather in my neck of the woods, tasty summer salads seem like the perfect solution to dinnertime…or anytime…woes.

CHERRY TOMATO CAPRESE SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  •  2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  •  1/2 teaspoon sugar
  •  Salt and pepper
  •  1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  •  1 garlic clove, minced
  •  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry
  •  1 cup chopped fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt together. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes so that the tomatoes give up some of their juices. Transfer the tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to a salad spinner and spin to remove the seeds and the liquid. Then pour the accumulated seeds and liquid into a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds, reserving the liquid. (I don’t have a salad spinner, so I dumped the all of the tomatoes and juices into a fine mesh strainer set over a liquid measuring cup and pressed on the tomatoes lightly to give up more of their juices. I picked out a few of the seeds but didn’t worry so much about eliminating all of them.) Return the tomatoes to the original bowl and pour the tomato liquid into a small saucepan (you should have between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of liquid).
  • To the small saucepan, add the vinegar and garlic. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. This will take about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then whisk in the olive oil.
  • Add the mozzarella cheese, basil and cooled dressing to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.