Insalate Caprese with Herbed Crostini

From Dakota Thyme.  This hearty salad is best made using tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden or farmers market.  Serves 4 as a main course, or 6-8 as a side salad.

2 pounds fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 pound fresh mozzarella,sliced 1/4 inch thick
Handful of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
Balsamic vinegar
Loaf of rustic bread

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Place garlic and 1/2 c. of olive oil into a ramekin.  Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes; mince the baked garlic back into the oil, and add the thyme and some black pepper; blend together.  Increase oven temperature to 400°.

Slice the bread into half inch slices, and brush with the olive oil mixture.  Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned and crisp, about 10-12 minutes.

On a dinner plate, alternate slices of tomato and mozarella.  Top with basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Serve with a slice of toasted crostini.


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