This recipe is simple, easy, classic. A great example of how, when you use full-flavored, in-season ingredients, it doesn't take much to make a great-tasting dish.

Be aware, though, that tomatoes, especially heirlooms, can vary wildly in both sweetness and acidity, and if your tomatoes are too sweet, they can make the wine taste sour. So look for red and green heirlooms. In general, they'll have the highest acidity—not so much that they'll be sour, but enough to balance the sweetness—while yellow tomatoes will have the least.

Learn how to pair wine with this and other dishes.
Servings: Serves 4
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 large (about 2 pounds) heirloom tomatoes , cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Coarse kosher salt , to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into thin slices
  • 2 Tbsp. white or golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. minced red onion
  • Directions
    Note: You could say that white or golden balsamic vinegar is to balsamic vinegar as white grape juice is to grape juice—they're similar, but the white version is lighter and fruitier. White or golden balsamic is available at most major supermarkets and wherever regular balsamic is sold.

    Cut 12 of the basil leaves into thin slices or tear them into small pieces. Set the remaining 4 leaves aside.

    Arrange the tomato slices on a platter or on individual plates, stacking them or fanning them out. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a few pieces of the sliced or torn basil, and a slice of cheese between every one or two tomato slices.

    Drizzle the vinegar and olive oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the onion, garnish with the reserved whole basil leaves, and serve.

    Food and wine tip: This would pair well with Sauvignon Blanc.


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