LIV Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad


“Tomato Caprese salad can be just okay or absolutely delicous depending on how you use in the ingredients.” - Barefoot Contessa

And she’s entirely right. Ina Garten is one of my favorite chefs. Starting with the best ingredients and cooking simply without a ton of ingredients brings out the best flavors in foods. That’s how my mother always cooked, and it’s how some of the best cooks cook today. Every summer, I used to go home and my dad would bring out the best tomatoes from local farms in New England. We would slice them and layer them with creamy buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil from the garden, Italian EVOO and a special aged balsamic from Italy. We would eat outside with a good bottle of red, crusty Italian bread, and watch the sunset. Heaven on earth.

Here’s my dad’s recipe for tomato salad:


●     4-5 large summer beefsteak heirloom tomatoes sliced thin. Salt adequately to “bleed” them as my mother would say, or draw out the juices.

●     Buffalo mozzarella or Burrata. Make sure you buy the kind that is still in the brine as it’s the freshest and juiceiest with best consistency.

●     10-15 basil leaves from the garden, chopped.

●     Drizzle of good Italian olive oil. (Dad's Choice: Italian Ranieri Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

●     Drizzle of thick balsamic. (Dad's choice: Gemma Nera from Italy).

●     Sprinkle of coarse sea salt

●     Fresh pepper

●     Sprinkle of dried oregano

●     Loaf of crusty Italian bread (In Massachusetts, we like this company called Iggy’s which is located in Cambridge, or any of the Italian breads from the North End, especially in Boschetto’s or Parziale’s Bakery).


●     Layer all ingredients evenly on a large white platter or dish. Start with tomatoes, then mozzarella, then basil, drizzle with lots of EVOO, and a touch of balsamic. Finish with a sprinkle of dried oregano or fresh if you have in your garden. Serve immediately with crusty italian bread.


LIV Green Goddess Kale and Romaine Salad with Lemon | Recipe

kale and romaine salad

My brother made this in Welfleet Bay, Cape Cod last week as a side dish to fresh baked halibut. It was outstanding. Packed with greens, nutrients, and antioxidants, you’re body will thank you after.


·      One large bunch of finely chopped kale

·      One large head of romaine lettuce, finely chopped

·      5 large carrots shredded

·      4 radishes cut into finely chopped disks

·      2 beets finely diced

·      1 avocado, cleaned and finely diced

·      1 green apple finely diced

·      1 plum finely diced

·      3 TBSP of fresh lemon juice

·      ½ cup good quality Italian olive oil

·      3 TBSP cup of good quality balsamic vinegar (I like the thick syrupy kind, my favorite brand is Gemma Nera from Italy).

·      1 garlic clove finely minced

·      1/2 TSSP sea salt

·      1 TSSP fresh ground pepper


1.    Add kale, lemon juice and salt to large mixing bowl and gently massage with hands. This will help tenderize and break down the fibrous structure of kale, which will make eating a lot easier.

2.    Once kale is tenderized, add the rest of the chopped vegetables and fruit to mixing bowl.

3.    Once vegetables are combined, make the dressing. Combine 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, ½ cup of olive oil.

4.    Lastly, add dressing to salad and mix thoroughly until salad is evenly coated. Serve immediately.