It’s so easy to turn the classic Italian Caprese into a vegan Caprese salad. It’s one of those dishes that’s the very essence of simplicity — the best summer tomatoes arranged on a platter in overlapping rows with mozzarella (in our case, vegan mozzarella). It’s topped with a sprinkling of basil and a drizzle of good olive oil.
This is one of my favorite summer dishes, and though it barely qualifies as a recipe, it’s impressive enough to be greeted with delight every time. Honestly, you don’t need a specific recipe. It so depends on the size of the tomatoes and the size of the platter being used.
All you need is 8 ounces of your favorite brand of vegan mozzarella cheese, in blocks or slices (you may not need all 8 ounces for this recipe), a few medium-sized lush, ripe tomatoes, a handful of basil leaves, and high-quality fruity olive oil. This will yield 3 to 4 servings.
Here are the steps:
1 Slice the cheese so that it’s about 2-inches square by about 1/4 inch thick. Or, you can use pre-sliced cheese, and simply cut into quarters. The salad will have the most authentic feel if you use a more artisanal mozzarella, like Miyoko’s, but use what’s available to you.
2 Cut the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick as well.
3 Arrange the cheese and tomatoes in overlapping rows on an attractive serving platter. Sprinkle with sliced basil leaves, then drizzle lightly with olive oil. If you’d like, finish with a grinding of black pepper, though this is optional.
Tip: This is a dish to make just before you need to serve it. You don’t want to refrigerate it, as the tomatoes will get mushy and the basil will turn brown. So don’t make more than you need! Conversely, if you haven’t made enough or your eating companions want seconds, it takes mere minutes to make more of this dish.
To serve: Everyone takes a few slices of tomatoes and vegan mozzarella onto a small platter. This is a delightful first course served with a very fresh, crusty bread. Might I suggest an olive ciabatta? Follow with a veggie-filled pasta dish (like Budget-Friendly Pasta Primavera or Garlicky Spaghetti with Zucchini Noodles.