Al Dente On The Side: Caprese Stacks

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The Wife is a bit of a cheese fiend. It’s a food that she cannot control herself around, so we try not to keep a lot of it in the house. String cheese disappears quickly, as do those little Babybel cheeses that I no longer buy because the little net bag never lasts beyond Tuesday.

Not that I’m blameless here, but The Wife is the primary cheese culprit around here. She’s particularly fond of fresh mozzarella, which has to be guarded once the package is open. I can’t blame her. Fresh mozzarella is awesome. We once sat like dopey tourists at the Citarella in Bridgehampton and watched a guy make fresh mozzarella so we could buy and eat it immediately.

We’re weak people.

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I’m not sure where I saw this recipe before — a Google search for Caprese Stack returns 123,000 results — but it’s not really anything you can own. Four ingredients and a popular Italian salad will do that to you.

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Caprese Stacks
By Jared Paventi

  • Two ripe, round tomatoes, washed
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • 8 to 10 sprigs fresh basil, washed
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • long toothpicks

With a very sharp knife, gently slice the tomatoes and cheese into discs of equal thickness (about 1/4-inch thick). Reassemble the tomato, inserting a slice of cheese and a basil leaf in between each tomato slice.

Insert a long toothpick through the middle of each tomato stack to stabilize. Drizzle vinegar over the top. Serve at room temperature.

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