Jillian's favorite: Caprese Plate & Balsamic Reduction

Summertime is a great season for this favorite dish of ours! Comprised of no more than 5 ingredients, this dish is quick, easy, and delicious.

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Try using local ingredients during the season; they're fresher & usually more flavorful.

You'll need ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar/ balsamic reduction.

You'll just need to slice the tomatoes & mozzarella, stack them, & top with slivered basil. Plate the stacks on a balsamic vinegar/reduction-dressed serveware. Sprinkle with some fresh ground pepper. Read below for our Balsamic reduction recipe.

We wound up in NJ last weekend and stopped at a roadside farm stand (my FAVORITE!) for some peaches, green/purple beans, heirloom tomatoes, & sugar baby watermelon. I was in heaven. You could be too; just visit your local farmer's market or contact your nearest CSA. Philly has done a wonderful job of affording us all the opportunity to get local produce from April to October; and that's just our outdoor neighborhood farmer's market season. For the rest of the months of they year, head over to Reading Terminal Market or smaller ops like Green Aisle Grocery (Fishtown) and Tela's Market (Fairmount). Even Whole Foods has a solid selection of local produce year-round. 

Balsamic vinegar is fine to plate the dish with. If you want to kick it up a notch, add one of my personal household staples, balsamic vinegar reduction. Reductions always add a deeper and richer flavor to any dish, and I really like to have them on hand. 

Just pour some balsamic vinegar into a small pot; just a little more than enough to coat the entire bottom of the pot and then some. Add a tablespoon of sugar and give it a good simmering boil for about 10-15 minutes, stirring very frequently. You'll have about 1/2 the amount of liquid left.. Let it cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days. A healthier sub for sugar: honey. Just get the balsamic vinegar heated first and then stir in the honey. Ratio 1:1 / sugar:honey.