Every summer as mid-August starts to roll around, I wake up in the the middle of the night in cold sweats, not from some kind of dormant tuberculosis (though that would be a symptom), but from the nightmarish feeling that the season has passed me by and I have not made good enough use of it’s bounty.


That I haven’t plucked enough corn kernels, still raw, from their cob.

That I haven’t bitten into enough green zebra tomatoes, straight from the farmer’s market stand, as if they were apples.

That I haven’t complained enough about the overabundance of zucchini that is sure to be terrorizing us all.

Somehow, no matter how much I stuff my fridge to the brim with graffiti eggplants, pattypan squash, and fresh-from-the-farm butter lettuce…

…it just never feels like enough.  Please tell me I’m not alone in this feeling of summer produce inadequacy.


So to try to combat this creeping fear that summer will be over before I know it and will take with it all that is ripe and good in this world (it is so bountiful when it rolls in, but so selfish when it leaves, no?).

I’ve made salad.  A twist on a caprese, if you will, with caramelized heirloom tomatoes made even more rich by a good roasting, the fresh crisp leaves of butter lettuce, and a nice crunch from some slivered almonds.  Each bite more reassuring than the last that, at least while you are eating this, it will all be okay.


Heirloom Tomato Salad with Capers and Mozzarella
Serves 3-4, adapted from 101 Cookbooks


  • 2 lb tomatoes (a mix of small heirlooms and cherry tomatoes, cut into wedges if the former, halved if the latter)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • 2 small eggplants, cubed
  • 1/3 cup toasted almond slices
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 bunch chives, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 400.  In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, brown sugar, and a few pinches of sea salt.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Toss the eggplants with another pinch of salt and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Place in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tomatoes shrink a bit and start to caramelize and eggplant is cooked.
  3. When ready to serve, toss the tomatoes (and juices from the pan) and eggplants together in a large bowl.  Add in the almond slices, capers, fresh mozzarella, butter lettuce leaves and chives.  Toss to combine.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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63 Responses to Heirloom Tomato Salad with Capers and Mozzarella

  1. I have been loving heirloom tomatoes this summer. It’s amazing how much flavor they have. Love the roasted veggies in this salad. Don’t worry – there’s still plenty of time for zucchini and eggplants!

  2. Pam says:

    You are not alone. I just realized that I made no pickles this summer! None. I feel like such a failure!

  3. What a great dish to use so many great summer veggies! There will still be plenty of time for more veggies, don’t worry! And don’t forget that the fall has many fabulous flavors to look forward to. 😉 (aka I’m so obsessed with pumpkin and can’t wait for fall!!!)

  4. I actually do think the same thing… though I’ve probably eaten my weight in blueberries almost every day so that probably has me covered. Love this combination of summer veggies.

  5. Yasmeen says:

    This is PRECISELY the kind of thing I want to eat right now… after 6 weeks of wedding-ing, honeymooning and generally eating/drinking everything in sight, this salad looks faaabulous.

  6. bellini says:

    Here it is August 20th already, the kids will be heading to school soon and yes summer has seemed to pass us by. But we have to enjoy the fresh produce while we can, it too is fleeting.

  7. Johanna GGG says:

    oh that is my sort of caprese salad – and it makes me sad because there was a note in the supermarket saying that there were problems for the tomato growers so we don’t even have our mid winter tomatoes right now – but mid august I begin to get excited about spring produce about to appear because it is dire right now (though I know the end of summer feeling too)

  8. If there’s one thing that screams summer, it’s caprese salad. And on top of that you’re using eggplant and heirlooms, so I think you’ve got it covered. Go back to having nights of restful sleep and sweet dreams. 😉

  9. Amy says:

    And see, every year at this time I’m mourning the loss of the pool, no home work, my kids being able to sleep in…Haley starts 1st grade on Wednesday. I’ll happily except a bowl of your tomato salad if it comes with a side of valium and 12 cookies.

  10. Gloria says:

    Look really delicious!

  11. Sam says:

    You are most definitely not alone! Although my dreams are a combination of the “I haven’t eaten enough eggplant and heirloom tomatoes” and the “I overslept for the first day of school and the principal drove to my house, picked me up, yelled at me, and then fired me” dreams.

  12. Mary says:

    I’m fairly certain that you manage to use more of the summer harvest than most of us. (And I feel like I’m using a LOT of it!) Your salad is absolutely gorgeous!

  13. Looks beyond delicious. Hopefully this means your conference went well and is now over! (Now let your brain rest from the oversaturation of science I’m sure you endured this weekend…)

  14. Ahhh…this is a great way to enjoy the season. We are lucky in some ways here in Florida to have farm fresh veggies most of the years, but then there are some things like tomatoes that just don’t tasste as good as my mom’s home grown in Michigan!

  15. A simple and fresh salad is the best!

  16. Esi says:

    I love everything about this salad.

  17. Lynn says:

    As I so often say – yum!

  18. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, This would call to me in the middle of the night!! I love salads like this with delicious bread for dipping. A beautiful salad indeed. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  19. Big Dude says:

    Nice looking salad Joanne and you’ll have another opportunity next summer.

  20. Erica says:

    What a beautiful salad,Joanne!Wonderful flavors and texture!

  21. that is one salad I want to eat now and tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day!

  22. Eileen says:

    That salad does look like the best possible way to cram all the summer vegetables in at once! I totally get the rushing-to-eat-it-all feeling–even though we live in CA, home of all produce all the time. It’s the CIRCLE OF LIIIFE oh wait. 🙂

    (How was your cruise? I hope it wasn’t too awful!)

  23. Laura says:

    This salad look so flavorful and a great way to use up the abundance of veggies this time of year!

  24. I love summer tomatoes. They are sooo sweet. This sounds and looks amazing.

  25. Jenna says:

    Dude, I haven’t made fresh corn a single time this summer. It’s a crime!!!

  26. Megan says:

    You are definitely not alone. I never feel like I’ve eaten enough summer produce no matter how much I eat. This salad looks fantastic. I especially love the addition of capers.

  27. That is such a beautiful salad. I am starting to have that feeling about tomatoes. I have so many tomato dishes I want to make but not enough time!!!

  28. tigerfish says:

    And I have not tasted any heirloom tomatoes of the season till today! :O

  29. Hotly Spiced says:

    I have the same fear and it happens as soon as I begin to see the days getting shorter, the fact shops have replaced mangoes, peaches and nectarines with the mandarin and that it’s now too cold to eat outside. But how was the hell-cruise? I’m dying to hear xx

  30. Guru Uru says:

    That is one stunning salad my friend, it looks delicious 😀


  31. Christine says:

    I love biting into ripe tomatoes just like apples. Used to gross out the person formerly in my life, ha ha! Been living on salads, fresh veggies and fruit this summer. Very little cooking, just big bowls of ripeness.This results in a rather large backlog of recipes to try as the weather cools and the stove can be once again be used. How was the retreat, hopefully not as dreary as expected!

  32. Saguna says:

    I feel like I haven’t done the peppers and tomatoes and zucchinis proper justice this summer either! I have a whole tomato plant drooping with nearly ripe tomatoes so I may still have a chance to make a batch of roasted home grown tomatoes- I’d love to try them in this awesome recipe. Mozzarella cheese balls have become a recent addiction of mine actually. So good that I now prefer them to feta. Never thought this day would come!

  33. Debbie says:

    Love that salad and I will eat anything that contains capers! One of my favorites!

  34. Yummy recipe! I love it all but the eggplant! Wish I was a fan of it, but I’m not. Do you recommend a substitute for it?

  35. Julie says:

    Oh so now you’ve given me another disease to think I have when I wake up in the night sweating! HA!

    So did you survive the cruise? Hoping to hear a recap 🙂

    The dish looks delicious as yours always do.

  36. Miriam says:

    Love the salad!! And I know, I’ve been greadily hoarding all the produce I can get my hands on from gardens and farmer’s markets…then the dilema is what to do with it all. LOL.
    Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  37. teresa says:

    roasted tomatoes, delicious! i agree, losing summer produce is the worst part about the summer ending.

  38. That Girl says:

    I have the same fear of not taking advantage of summer produce. But it doesn’t keep me up nights.

  39. I NEED this salad. Like you, I wake up some mornings with the pure goal of eating twice the daily recommended serving of vegetables only to eat a brownie on my break, and lose control from there. This salad is the perfect way to feel awesome at dinner!

  40. Katie says:

    Oh! Isn’t everything better with heirloom tomatoes? I felt like I had to be a little reasonable at the farmers’ market this weekend, but I lost control quickly when it came to those. This salad looks delightful. I love the addition of capers!

  41. MM says:

    My tomatoes are done for the year. And, yeah, that makes me sad. Maybe not wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it, but pretty darned bummed. Love the salty bursts of capers in this salad.

  42. Cara says:

    I admit I *almost* passed right over because I was all, “tomato and mozzarella salad? Been there done that”. Girl, you REALLY need to mention EGGPLANT and ROASTED in the title here – because those are the things that make me swoon!

  43. Pam says:

    It’s just packed with great flavors, textures, and colors. Nicely done my friend!

  44. this salad sounds incredible. great flavors!

  45. Jenn Kendall says:

    there are so many amazing things going on in this salad! capers, chives, almonds, eggplant, tomatoes – oh my gosh, it has so many great flavors! awesome job!

  46. I’m overwhelmed with this salad AND the blueberry pie before it. I get so hungry when I visit your blog. This salad looks amazing and it’s filled with all my favorites.

  47. Roz says:

    I know your pain, Joanne. I get that same feeling of not having enough time to get all of the cooking and baking of summer’s bounty whenever I’m in the market or whenever I read your blog and other favorite blogs! Never enough time! Lovely job with the salads, and I like how you added capers!

  48. I feel the same way. I talk all year about how I can’t wait for tomato season, but then when it rolls around I feel like I don’t eat enough! Also, I really love how you added capers to this. Looks amazing!

  49. Tomato season is so fleeting – you are clearly taking full advantage while it’s here!

  50. I do try my best to eat my veggies.
    I do eat way more fruit than is required.
    I like veggies I do, but I prefer them smothered in a sauce, so that’s not good.
    Actually I’m saving up for a vitamix so then I can drink my veggies, preferably drink my kale.
    Kale is so good for you.

  51. As much as I love summer’s bounty of vegetables, I can NOT wait til the fall…the cool air, beautiful leaves…and squash, apple, and pear galore! Although I may have to make this recipe before autum is upon us…

  52. Tandy says:

    You have showered us with the most amazing recipes this summer! I cannot wait to share the fall with you 🙂

  53. Katie says:

    This looks and sounds amazing! I love how colorful this salad is!

  54. Ranjani says:

    That is pretty much all my favorite things in one bowl. Summer is NOT almost over. I refuse to believe it.

  55. Reeni Pisano says:

    I feel the same way! I want summer to be over but not all the yummy things that it brings to end. This is a gorgeous salad! I love how much eggplant you’ve been using lately. I need eggplant inspiration.

  56. Shannon says:

    what a delicious caprese salad! i definitely love each season, but always want it to last longer! guess it’s good that it comes around every year 😉

  57. Chris says:

    Butternut squash called and said **** those summer veggies, come see me Joanne!

  58. This looks delicious, Joanne. I agree, can’t get enough of the vegetable goodness right now. 🙂

  59. I’m a little late on this but I’m so with you! And everyone else talking about wanting to start making pumpkin and squash things already makes me panic even more!

  60. vianney says:

    stunning first picture!! can never have enough veggies!!

  61. This is such a wonderful way to use up summer veggies!

  62. Haha, I am the same with planning. But sometimes it really is good to let go and just let teh garden decide for you. This recipe looks wonderful!

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