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Easy Caprese Appetizer

All hail the Italian genius who made the first Caprese salad.

It’s a dish as basic as a dish can get. Yet, it’s arguably one of the most satisfying flavor combos imaginable—especially when the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella are truly fresh.

Want to really impress your friends (or your own taste buds)? Keep in mind these expert tips for maximizing deliciousness:

First, the tomatoes and mozzarella should be warm. If they’ve been in the fridge, take them out and let them sit for a bit before serving. Refrigeration robs both of flavor. Second, chop the basil into big, coarse pieces, not tiny, diced strips. You’ll get more flavor this way. Finally, the most important: a tomato-mozzarella salad is only as good as the olive oil you drizzle on top. Cook with a cheaper version; save the special stuff for this.


  • 1 large ripe tomato, sliced
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 very thin slices
  • 1 fresh basil leaf, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic
  • to taste freshly ground black pepper
  • to taste sea salt


  • Layer tomatoes and mozzarella across a plate, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.
  • Sprinkle with basil.
  • Top with salt and pepper.


This version of the classic Caprese salad works as an afternoon snack or the perfect party appetizer. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which has been linked to reducing both heart disease and cancer risk. Mozzarella contributes protein and calcium, while the olive oil brings along heart-healthy fats and antioxidants.

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