In the summer, there’s nothing better or more simple than a caprese salad with juicy, ultra-ripe tomatoes, creamy fresh mozzarella and aromatic basil. Actually, we take that back. Thanks to a supersmart tip from Giada De Laurentiis, the classic Italian salad can be even more delicious.
“My favorite thing right now is grilling my tomatoes for caprese salad,” she says. “If you put a tomato in the sun for half an hour, it warms it through, and what happens? The juices release and the sweetness is enhanced—it’s like ripening it more. So, instead of bothering to sit a tomato in the sun and allowing all the flies to get on it, I slice and grill it.” She slices her tomatoes thick so they don’t fall apart on the grill, then brushes the slices with olive oil and seasons with salt and pepper. The tomatoes need just ten seconds on a very hot grill on each side. “It warms them and creates a lot of sweetness,” De Laurentiis says. “Then, when you lay the slices next to the mozzarella, the cheese slowly warms through and becomes more buttery. It’s a completely different caprese experience.”