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Caprese Salad With Garlic Toast​

When tomatoes are in season, and it's too hot to cook, there's only one dish we crave. Our version of caprese keeps the key elements of the classic Italian dish (ripe tomatoes, milky fresh mozzarella, and a shower of basil) while adding a few punchy ingredients. First, there's a flavor-packed vinaigrette instead of the typical drizzle of olive oil. It's made with the pickling liquid from Kansas City Canning Co.'s Balsamic Pickled Grapes, which also get sliced and scattered over the salad for a uniquely delicious touch. It's all served with thick slices of garlic toast, for an all-in-one meal to beat the heat.

preparation & ingredients

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup Murray’s Italian EVOO, divided

3 Tbsp. Northwoods Apiaries Liquid Honey​

1/2 jar Kansas City Canning Co. Balsamic Pickled Grapes, plus 3 Tbsp. pickling liquid​

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 lb. Murray’s Lightly Salted Mozzarella​

2-3 heirloom tomatoes

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch basil, leaves only

1 large garlic clove

1 small country loaf, sliced 1-in. thick

Combine 1/3 cup EVOO, honey, pickling liquid, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, and whisk until the vinaigrette is thick and thoroughly combined. Set aside.​
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into 10 slices each. Cut the pickled grapes into quarters. On a large platter, arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella, alternating slice by slice. Scatter the red onion and pickled grapes over the tomatoes and mozzarella.​
Preheat a grill or a pan to medium high heat. Cut the garlic clove in half, and rub the cut side on each slice of bread. Brush both sides of each slice of bread with EVOO, using the remaining 1/4 cup, then grill or toast in the pan until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. ​
Give the dressing a quick stir to recombine, and pour it evenly over the salad. Garnish with basil leaves. Serve with garlic toast.​

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