Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Prep Time

45 minutes

Cook Time



1 people

This caprese and pesto salad utilizes fresh ingredients to turn a basic lunch into something that can only be described as fabulous. Don’t be intimidated by making your own pesto; it’s much easier than you think, and The Food Channel is here to show you how it’s done.

Guru Tips:

  • This salad is all about the quality of the ingredients used.
  • Summer tomatoes and creamy Buffalo mozzarella are the only way to go!
  • Allow 1/2 medium red and 1/2 medium yellow heirloom tomato per serving
  • You may refrigerate some of the pesto in an airtight container for use within three days.
  • You can freeze extra pesto in ice cube trays, then pop the individual cubes into a freezer tight zip lock bag for fresh pesto on the fly!
  • Pesto will naturally darken when exposed to air. This does not affect flavor. Adding lemon juice will help reduce this tendency

For more Guru Tips, watch the full video for this recipe, here.


  • A selection of ripe heirloom tomatoes (red & yellow preferred)
  • fresh Buffalo mozzarella cheese; water packed.
  • basil pesto
  • fresh basil, sliced in a chiffonade
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • best quality dark balsamic vinegar (syrupy)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Classic Basil Pesto:
  • 2 large bunches Genovese basil, preferably organic
  • 1 1/3 cup grated hard Italian cheese of choice (Parmigiano, Asiago etc.)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup fresh or toasted pine nuts (chopped walnuts may be substituted if preferred)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 Cut tomatoes and mozzarella ball into thick slices.
  • 2 Overlap tomatoes on a large platter or individual salad plates (alternating colors if using red & yellow varieties), with a thin slice of mozzarella between slices.
  • 3 In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons pesto with 3 tablespoons best quality olive oil until blended. Drizzle over tomato/mozzarella slices.
  • 4 Drizzle with best quality dark balsamic vinegar.
  • 5 Sprinkle with fresh basil chiffonade.
  • 6 Finish with a grind of sea salt and fresh pepper.
  • 7 Classic Basil Pesto:
  • 8 Gently rinse basil with water and pat dry or dry in a salad spinner.
  • 9 Separate the leaves, discarding the stems.
  • 10 Pack the leaves in the bowl of a food processor with grated cheese, garlic, lemon juice and pine nuts.
  • 11 Pulse until finely chopped. With processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil–pausing while it incorporates–until a smooth paste forms.



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