Mozzarella, tomato and basil, the classic “Caprese salad” (named after the Italian island of Capri) is a popular first course. For a change, substitute goat cheese. Its creaminess pairs beautifully with the sweet acidity of tomatoes. For a beautiful dish, slice circles from a log of goat cheese and plate with sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil leaves; drizzle with fine olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Variations include serving the sliced goat cheese with a “salad” of red and yellow tomato wedges (or sliced cherry tomatoes) in a red wine vinaigrette. Or, you can stack the cheese, basil and sliced tomatoes in a “napoleon.” When tomatoes aren’t in season, substitute roasted red peppers.
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