This is the easiest and most elegant appetizer to whip together ever. People go nuts over it, but it’s amazingly simple to prepare. I made this for my son’s third birthday. It was Cars themed and my husband said I should make something with tomatoes and put a sign next to it that said “Tow Mater”. He cracks me up. Pretty sure he thought I was going to just throw some cherry tomatoes in a bowl or something, but I decided to do this instead. It took just minutes to prepare, can be done a little ahead of time & the entire platter got gobbled up. Mmmm tasty! Perfect for a Christmas party too – with the pretty red and green motif. Probably will be even better in the summer with really fresh ripe tomatoes. Buy a quality mozzarella and then put it in the freezer for a few minutes before slicing it. The good stuff is really soft and a little tricky to slice, but a good blast of frosty air will firm it up nicely for you without ruining the cheese. If preparing before you’ll be using it, just wait to drizzle your oil and vinegar until just before party time!
- 3 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
- 20 to 30 leaves (about 1 bunch) fresh basil
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- Coarse salt and pepper
Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with crackers, bruschetta or flatbread if desired.