Food + Drink Salad Side Dishes

Heirloom tomato caprese salad

It’s official: the first heirloom tomato from our garden finally ripened!

Our Mr. Stripey tomato plant has been growing like wildfire – it is honestly over 7 feet tall at this point…probably even taller than that. I’ve been patiently waiting for some of these beautiful heirlooms to ripen, and finally the wait was over. This bad boy probably weighed in at around a pound – heck yes!

heirloom tomato caprese salad

Can we talk about the gorgeous color of these? I wanted to grow Mr. Stripey tomatoes because of their gorgeous red and yellow coloration. Their flesh is tender and slightly sweet, but very mild. As soon as I picked this tomato off of the vine, I knew exactly what I would make with it.

heirloom tomato caprese salad

To me, caprese salad is oh so perfect for the summer season. It’s so simple, the flavors are awesome, and the texture is creamy and wonderful. For what it’s worth, I could simply eat thick slices of tomato topped with mozzarella and fresh basil leaves from our garden…with a crack of pepper and sprinkle of salt.

heirloom tomato caprese salad with balsamic

But to me, a balsamic glaze drizzled over the top of this combination is absolutely essential. I recommend using an aged balsamic (with a thick texture), or cooking down some regular balsamic vinegar – you simply pour balsamic in a pot and boil gently over medium heat until it is reduced. Or if all else fails, I have seen some balsamic glaze bottles for sale at the grocery store. I won’t judge: I’ve used them myself.

heirloom tomato caprese salad with balsamic

Now that I have delved into the deliciousness of my first heirloom tomato from the garden, I can’t wait for more to be ready to pick! There are at least 5 that are juuuust about ready to turn color. Send me patience, please!

Are you a fan of caprese salad? With balsamic or without?

heirloom tomato caprese salad with balsamic 2

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad


Heirloom tomato

Mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil leaves

Kosher salt and cracked pepper

Balsamic glaze


1. Cut an heirloom tomato into slices about 1/4″ thick. Arrange on a plate. To each tomato slice, add a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese (about the same thickness as the tomato) on top. Place fresh basil leaves on top of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt and cracked pepper.

2. Carefully drizzle balsamic glaze over the top of the salad (approximately 2 tablespoons) before serving. Enjoy!


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  • Wow, this looks amazing! We also grow tomatoes, but have found that the cherry and grape varieties work best for us, as for some reason we do not have the best luck with the large tomato plants. We get some radial splitting on the tops of almost all of our large tomatoes, which I read is due to large amounts of water. Have you guys been seeing the same storms we have over here in GA? It has been pouring on and off for weeks!
    Thank you for posting the recipe, it looks soo good. I am excited to try it!

    • I heard that too, as I’ve been trying to read up as much as possible about tomatoes. I also didn’t know that you’re supposed to pick heirlooms before they get to their full color and then ripen them inside. Who would have thought…

      We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, but thankfully it hasn’t been enough to cause a lot of splitting…one or two here and there have split after a larger storm though. I pretty much don’t water my garden right now since the afternoon rain is doing that job for me – hoping it continues to work out that way…but who knows if I’ll be so lucky…

  • I am so impressed with your gardening skills! I also shouldve taken you up on your offer of basil the other week. I let mine die 🙁

    • Oh no! 🙁 Well, never fear – I am sure I’ll have an abundance to share! Plus, more heirlooms. I have about 10 of them that are probably about a pound each juuuuust about ripe on the vine…

  • So since I couldn’t have soup, I came up with a light and fresh comforting dish that would help me survive the heat. Crisp, buttery pastry topped with fresh tomato and basil, slathered with a balsamic glaze and covered with ooey-gooey melted cheese is certainly comforting. This tart is good warm out of the oven, at room temperature and chilled, making it a great appetizer to serve at parties that you can prep way before hand.

  • While in college at Texas A&M in College Station, I used to meet a friend at a pizza place near campus that served pizza by the slice called Antonio’s . I always got the margherita. Nice thick slices of fresh mozzarella, perfect slices of red tomato and fresh basil on top of a delicious crust. If I’m ordering pizza at a restaurant, margherita is always on the short list. And when we make pizza at home, it’s one I know will be devoured. There’s something wonderful about the fresh ingredients, the contrasting textures of smooth and creamy cheese, juicy tomato and the slight crunch of the spicy basil leaf. And the bright colors can’t be beat either.

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