Weekly Winner: Perfecting the Perfect Salad



Apparently we are in our “Salad Days” of summer here in Chicago if my last two posts are any indication.  And why not?  It is summer.  It is hot.  The produce is phenomenal now and when life hands you heirloom  tomatoes — well, you make salads.

I believe the perfect salad has got to be the traditional Caprese.  But it is salad that, in my opinion, can truly only be enjoyed in summer when the tomatoes are at their peak.  The styrafoam-no-taste tomatoes of winter and spring just won’t cut it.  But even now, when tomatoes are pure perfection, I had to ask myself: “Is there a way to  improve upon the quintessential, classic combination of ingredients that make up the perfect salad?”  What could possibly make this even better.  Bacon!!!  Truth be told, I find that “bacon” is often the answer to many of life’s ponderables.

So, without further ado, I present this week’s Weekly Winner – Hot Bacon Caprese Salad which comes from Southern Living Magazine.


Hot Bacon Caprese Salad


  • 2 ½ pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into ½ -inch slices
  • 1 (16-oz.) package fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ -inch slices
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 6 thick bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Arrange tomatoes and cheese on a serving platter, placing basil leaves between slices. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper.
  2. Saute chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from heat, reserving bacon and 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Let stand 1 minute. Add vinegar and oil, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.
  3. Drizzle warm bacon mixture over tomatoes and cheese. Serve immediately.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Doris Heisler
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 09:22:42

    This sounded so good till I read that there was no balsamic vinegar in it. Mom


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