Large, juicy, ripe heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes and fresh picked corn on the cob are two heavy hitters that shine from mid- to late-summer in our neck of the woods. For those few fleeting months we try to take advantage of the produce preparing them in a myriad of different ways. Often, the simple approach is just as tasty as a more complicated recipe such as a corn sauté or an heirloom tomato tart.
You may have enjoyed Caprese Salad before, but have you ever topped it with some grated lemon zest? This twist on the preparations adds a wonderful bright note that compliments the other flavors. Sun-ripened farmers market tomatoes are layered with creamy mozzarella and topped with aromatic fresh basil, sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar, and that aforementioned floral lemon zest.
To complete the meal, we boiled fresh ears of corn, and grilled a cedar-planked salmon with a North African spice rub—both of which took about the same amount of time to cook. Deliscioso!
Caprese Salad with Lemon Zest
- 2 large heirloom or beefsteak locally grown tomatoes
- 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup packed fresh basil strips
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. high quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Zest from half a lemon
- Cracked black pepper
- Cut tomatoes and mozzarella in even slices. Sprinkle evenly with kosher salt.
- Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Sprinkle evenly with basil strips.
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Using a microplane grater, grate lemon zest directly over tomato platter.
- Garnish with cracked black pepper.