My wife’s garden produces an amazing amount of tomatoes in July and August and into September. They are so tasty! A Caprese Salad is one of the great ways to use them! Tomatoes and the rest of the nightshade vegetables have a lot of lectin in them. So if you have leaky gut problems, you should eat in moderation or avoid altogether.
However, most of the lectin is in the skin and seeds. So if you remove these, you’re good. Cooking also reduces the lectins. So if you’re making a red sauce and run the tomatoes through a tomato grinder that removes the seeds and skin and then cook the sauce, you are golden! If you just want to remove the skin and seeds, bring a pot of water to a boil, cut a cross (X) in the bottom of the tomato (shallow cut, not deep), drop the tomato in the boiling water for about 10 seconds, remove, place in ice water to chill, remove and peel the skin off starting from where you cut the X. To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in wedges and scoop the seeds out with your thumb.
I digress, let’s get back to the Caprese Salad. You don’t need to do any of that for a Caprese Salad, however, you can remove the skin if you want to. My mother didn’t like it when I left the skin on tomatoes. The skin got stuck in her dentures and that was a no no!
The most complicated ingredient is the basil pesto, which I also make from my wife’s garden basil that she grows. You can find a Basil Pesto recipe here. I used pesto in my Caprese Salads in my restaurants, but you can just use fresh basil (cut into strips) and sprinkle on the salad for a quick and easy salad. So I have a ball of fresh mozzarella, a tomato and the last of a batch of basil pesto.
Cut the tomato and mozzarella into slices, arrange nicely on a plate, top with basil pesto (or just a chiffonade of basil leaves). I drizzled some balsamic reduction on top. You can buy that in the store too. It needs a little acidity, so use some kind of vinegar. Red wine is OK, but the reduction makes a nice visual statement. Add a pinch of salt to the tomatoes. Enjoy!