Not quite a panzanella and a bit little more than merely tomato-mozz-basil... I love this salad for both reasons. It doesn't need to sit and macerate as in panzanella and has fewer ingredients--don't get me wrong I love panzanella--but this is nice when you are hungry now, which I, too often, am. And it solves the need for a hunk of mop-up bread which I always need in Caprese salad because I want to chew and can't bear to toss the lovely balsamic and oil haze left on the plate.
Notes: Olive oil is Eureka Lemon olive oil by Baker & Olive. Balsamic glaze is Trader Joe's.
CAPRESE CROUTON SALAD
Ingredients: 3 small, sliced tomatoes, 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, 1 cup torn or cubed bread, 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (infused or extra-virgin), 2-3 tsp. balsamic glaze, fresh basil.
1. Make croutons: Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. When it sizzles, add the bread. Cook, regularly turning, until golden or toasted how you like it. Remove.
2. Build the salad: Lay slices of tomato on a plate or serving platter then salt and pepper to taste. Tear over pieces of fresh mozzarella. Drizzle on the olive oil and balsamic glaze. Scatter the croutons over the top and add fresh basil.