Caprese Salad with Grilled Tuscan Bread

One of the best fates that can befall a tomato is to be joined by fresh mozzarella and basil in a simple salad. Adding a slice of perfectly-grilled bread and a drizzle of balsamic reduction elevates the traditional Caprese Salad to give an honored place on Dad’s table for his special day. Reducing the balsamic intensifies the sweetness and complexity.

By Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Serves 4
Image of Caprese Salad with Grilled Tuscan Bread

  • 1/4 cup balsamic
  • 4 slices Tuscan bread, about 1/2 inch thick
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • 4 slices heirloom tomato, about 1/2 inch thick
  • About 8 ounces fresh buffalo’s milk mozzarella (ovolone), sliced
  • 8 large basil leaves, washed and dried without bruising

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium heat. Reduce the balsamic in a wide saucepan over medium heat until very thick, about 15 minutes. A wide pan increases the surface area of the liquid to speed the reduction.

Remove from heat and reserve in the saucepan.Generously brush the bread slices with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt. Grill over direct heat until nicely marked and lightly toasted, turning once, about 3 minutes per side.

It is difficult to grill it too little, but easy to grill it too much. Be careful not to let the bread dry out. Remove the bread from the grill.

One four individual plates, place 1 slice of bread, 1 slice of tomato, a couple slices of cheese and 2 basil leaves. Drizzle lightly with balsamic reduction.

If necessary, re-heat the balsamic reduction over low heat until is liquid enough to drizzle from a spoon. Serve with steak knives and forks.