Tomato Rainbow with Basil Blossoms

Tomato Rainbow with Basil Blossoms

Among the 150 varieties of basil (Ocimum basilicum), which is a member of the mint family, you will find names like cinnamon, lemon, or licorice — each one with a slightly different aroma. Basil, which the Ancient Greeks considered the king of herbs, ranks among the most popular of culinary flavorings. From green varieties to those with dramatically ruffled purple leaves, basil flavors dishes the world over. In India, certain varieties are considered sacred and dedicated to the gods Vishnu and Krishna. In Italy, the art of making basil pesto is as highly regarded as that of cooking perfect pasta. The French call basil herbe royale and use a sweet variety to enhance the flavor of soups, stews, and salads. This dish is especially striking when made with slices of colorful heirloom tomatoes. 


Recipe CourseAppetizer


  • 2 large red tomatoes, sliced 0.25 in thick
  • 2 large yellow tomatoes, sliced 0.25 in thick
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella, sliced 0.25 in thick
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 basil leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 tablespoon basil blossoms


  1. On a pretty serving platter, alternate the red and yellow tomatoes with mozzarella. 

  2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper.

  3. Drizzle the dressing over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil leaves and blossoms. Serve at room temperature. 


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