This is my favorite Antipasto at an Italian restaurant. It is really easy to prepare and is layered with so many flavors and textures that will melt in your mouth. Because this dish is very simple keep in mind that it is important to make sure your tomatoes are top quality. This dish makes a great option for hors d’oeuvres; your guests will definitely enjoy them and there will not be a single one left!
2-3 stems of basil
1 fresh mozzarella ball
2 ripe tomatos
Olive oil for drizzling
Balsamic vinegar (about a 1 TB-3 TB)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To begin with pick out the leaves from the stems, wash and pat dry. The amount of leaves determines how many servings you will prepare, i.e. for 8 servings use 8 basil leaves. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into medium thick (1/4 inch) slices. Depending on the size of your basil leaves cut the tomatoes, cheese and avocado accordingly (in halves or quarters) to layer above neatly; therefore the basil leaf has to be the greatest.
Place the inside of the leaves facing up and then set a slice of tomato on top, sprinkle a pinch of salt and then layer with a slice of mozzarella and avocado. Drizzle olive oil all over and carefully pour a few drops of balsamic vinegar as well. Personally for me, balsamic vinegar has a very strong flavor and if not careful it can be overwhelming so I only add a few drops over the salad. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and crack some fresh pepper over and you can decorate with *julienned basil on top. Another option is to serve the caprese on top of sliced french bread, like a bruschetta. Yumm!!!
*Place 4 – 6 basil leaves in a stack and roll them lengthwise, forming a taco-shape cylinder, making sure it doesn’t unfold, slice it into thin strips about 1/8 inch wide.