Also called Tomatoes Caprese with nearly an equal frequency. This simple but delightful dish is of Italian origin--specifically, Neapolitan cuisine from the island of Capri. It's delightful anytime, but makes an especially wonderful lunch during the hot summer months.

Large tomatoes, generally one for every one to two people. Vine-ripened are of course the best. Beefsteak varities work nicely, but any large tomato works. Do not use roma tomatoes unless you are desperate.
Mozzarella. GOOD mozzarella, the soft, moist, non-plasticky kind. Mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella) is ideal, but any quality cow's milk variety works well too. Preferably, the ball of cheese will be about the same size as your tomato. Never, EVER use cheesesticks. I will hurt you.
Basil. Ideally fresh, yard-grown basil. Dried basil can be used in a pinch.
Quality olive oil OR basalmic vinegar OR a nice vinaigrette. (You can make your own merely by whisking the oil and vinegar together, or you can buy one.)

Slice the tomatoes, good-sized rounds. Don't use either end of the tomato, save these pieces for a salad or something. You can peel the tomatoes if you choose but it's not at all necessary. Top tomato lightly with salt and/or pepper if desired.

Place basil leaf (large full leaf) on top of tomato slice.

Cut cheese in similarly-sized rounds. Place on top of basil leaf.

Top the whole assembly with your choice of oil/vinegar/oil and vinegar immediately before serving. You can garnish with shreds of basil leaf if so desired. Salt and/or pepper to taste.


Some people only top this dish with shredded basil and do not place a leaf between the cheese and tomato.
Some prefer to use arugula (which is an Italian plant reminiscent of half spinach half lettuce) between/on top of the dish instead of basil. It's claimed by some that the "traditional" dish is served ONLY with olive oil and it's nearly a sin to add the vinegar to the mix.

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