Although the weather staunchly refuses to admit that summer is near, I am starting to long for summer staples like fresh heirloom tomatoes, herbs and salads. I wanted a caprese salad today, and had all the ingredients ready, but the blustery wind made me crave a warm lunch. Here's what I put together. It was really good, both in flavor and texture-- the rich creamy mozzarella was offset nicely by the tangy, sweet tomatoes, and the radishes add a satisfying crunch.
1 handful cherry tomatoes
1t olive oil
dried herbs, optional (I used herbed cooking salt)
1t balsamic vinegar
1 handful fresh basil leaves
4 slices fresh mozzarella
bread-- I used a "baguette piece", basically a small baguette roll, from the Cheeseboard
Cut tomatoes in half and cook in a small skillet over medium heat, along with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs/spices, for about 5 minutes, until wilted and mushy. Their liquid should start to thicken. In the meantime, cut basil into chiffonade and thinly slice radishes. When tomatoes are cooked, turn heat to high and add balsamic vinegar to deglaze. Cook 30 seconds until thick. Turn off heat and add basil.
Heat bread in oven, then slice in half.
Layer cheese and radishes.
Top with tomato mixture. Serve open-face.