Black and Gold Caprese Salad

Mmm, ripe tomatoes and lots-a mozzarella. Talk about a winning combination. What could be a better summertime snack than a delicious Caprese salad? As we often do, we are going to make this snack Black and Gold with a sweet balsamic reduction and golden heirloom tomatoes - and I promise it will be as appealing to the eye as it will be to the palate. 

If you don't already have a vast array of heirloom tomatoes growing in your yard (I certainly don't), your best bet to find some sweet, golden ones would be at your local farmers market. You can find a staggeringly comprehensive list of Farmers Markets in the Pittsburgh area here on

Our Creative Director pointed me in the direction of "Phair," an open air market on 23rd and Arch Streets in Philly (open every Saturday, May through November). The nice folks at the Plowshare Farms booth hooked me up with two big, beautiful golden heirloom tomatoes: an Orange Oxheart and a Yellow Brandywine. When I got home and started slicing, I found them to be exactly as they were described to me at the market - the Oxheart was very meaty with fewer seeds and less juice than your average tomato, while the Brandywine was juicer, but still very meaty. Both were a bit sweeter than the red Jersey tomatoes I used in yesterday's Coach Tomlin Tomato Cheese Pie.

I prefer the salad as-is for a refreshing summer appetizer, but if you really want to turn this into a heartier (albeit carb-ier) lunch, I suggest placing the salad between two thick slices of buttered bread and heating it up on the stovetop for a Black and Gold Caprese Grilled Cheese! Just sayin'.

Black and Gold Caprese Salad
Stiller Nation Snacks N'at original

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
2 medium-sized golden tomatoes
10 oz mozzarella 
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together balsamic vinegar and honey in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally until the mixture reduces to 1/3 cup or so, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

Slice tomatoes and mozzarella to desired thickness (I like them about 1/4 inch thick). Assemble tomato and mozzarella slices on plates. Garnish with basil, then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, then balsamic reduction. 

For sandwich (optional)
4 slices sourdough
1-2 tbsp butter, softened

Prepare balsamic reduction then slice tomatoes and mozzarella as with salad. Liberally butter one side of each bread slice. Assemble tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on half of the bread slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic reduction. Top with remaining bread. Cook sandwiches in skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side, until mozzarella begins to melt. 

One Response so far.

  1. Katy says:

    Those heirloom tomatoes are downright gorgeous... n'at :) Can't wait to make this grilled cheese. Thanks!

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