Caprese salad

Spring has reached New England, it felt like time to make a salad.

Magnolia on the Charles Esplanade


  • Mozzarella, shaved into thin slices
  • The best tomatoes you can find, and keep them at room temperature
  • Fresh basil, leaves only
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sugar

Balsamic vinegar reduction has an excellent impressiveness-difficulty ratio. It looks gourmet, and tastes wonderful but it’s incredibly simple to make. Boil balsamic vinegar with a tablespoon or two of sugar until it reaches a syrupy consistency, then allow to cool to room temperature.

While the reduction is cooling, dehull the tomatoes and slice with a sharp knife. A blunt knife will squash your tomatoes — if it can’t cut through the skin without pressure, it’s time to sharpen your knife!

Arrange tomato slices, basil and mozzarella on a plate and sprinkle a little salt over them. To get that perfect presentation, right when you’re ready to serve — not a moment before — drizzle the salad with the balsamic vinegar reduction.