Caprese Salad with Basil Oil and Herbed Sea Salt
4 Heirloom or Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, ends discarded and sliced ½ inch thick
2 balls fresh mozzarella, sliced ½ inch thick
4 leaves fresh basil
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes (optional)
For the Basil Oil:
2 cups basil
1/2 cup olive oil
For the Basil Sea Salt:
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp sea salt
Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
For the Basil Oil: Blanche basil in boiling water. Shock in ice bath and set aside.
Place basil into a blender with ½ cup olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine chinois or strainer.
For the Basil Sea Salt: Crush dried basil with a mortar and pestle until it becomes a powder. Mix with 1 tsp sea salt. Set aside.
To Plate: Place alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella in the center of the plate, starting and ending with a tomato slice (you should have three slices of tomato and two slices of mozzarella). Repeat with the other three tomatoes. Top with a fresh basil leaf.
Drizzle basil oil over tomatoes and around plate. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar (careful not to use too much).