It’s hard to beat the classic Caprese, but as with most ingredients, something magical happens to vine-ripe tomatoes grilled over fire. Be sure to cut the tomatoes thick and keep the grill uncovered so they don’t get too soft. The old saying that great meals start with great ingredients is key here. This recipe should be reserved solely for summertime. Whether you grow ‘em yourself or patronize your farmers’ market, use only the best heirloom, vine-ripened tomatoes you can find.
1 ½ pound large heirloom tomatoes, such as Rose de Berne and Nebraska Wedding
1-pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup packed medium-sized fresh basil leaves
Heat a charcoal or barbecue grill to medium-high, 450° to 500°F. Oil the top grate.
Cut the large tomatoes crosswise into 1-inch slices and pat dry. Place on the oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Arrange the tomato slices on a serving platter. Sprinkle with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with the oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with the basil leaves, and serve.