Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction

Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction recipe |
Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction recipe |

Am I the only one who thinks food should look good? 

Yeah, I know – what kind of question is that, anyway?  Of course I’m not the only one.  I’m sure you wouldn’t be reading a food blog if you didn’t like the way food looks in pictures and you want to make appealing food, too!  But even when you’re at home by yourself, not trying to impress anyone with your culinary masterpieces… don’t you still prefer to eat something that looks good?

Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction recipe |
Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction recipe |
Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction recipe |

Sure, you’ll never get a bowl of plain cereal to look much different than, well, a bowl of cereal, but that’s beside the point.  Even when I’m by myself, as long as I have enough light to see – and I haven’t had a power outage in a long time, thank goodness – I love making my food colorful and tasty-looking.

There are a couple key things about this salad.  One, it has a lot of different, bright, colors.  It also has layers – a symmetry that makes it look pretty cool.  Plus, I mean – it’s like a wild, foodie rendition of a tomato.  Dripping with sweet balsamic reduction.  Mmmm. 

Bonus:  Did you know that spending more time on making your food AND making it look good can actually help you eat less?  At the very least, you will be eating more consciously, which generally means you are more likely to realize when you’re full and stop eating.  This is true!  So whether or not you plan on making these for a fancy dinner party or just for a light lunch on your own, try it – you might find yourself thinking differently about your meal!

Caprese Tower with Balsamic Reduction

Gluten-free {Makes about 4 servings}


  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, different colors
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 12 large, fresh basil leaves (or a big handful)
  • Salt, freshly grated pepper
  • About ½ c. balsamic vinegar


  1. In a small saucepan, reduce the balsamic vinegar over medium high heat for a few minutes, until it is about half the volume and thick like syrup.  Allow to cool to room temperature off the heat.
  2. Slice the tomatoes (with a very sharp knife) into about 4 thick slices each.  Slice the mozzarella so you get 8 or 16 pieces (depending on the width) so you can divide it evenly between the four servings.
  3. Layer the tomato slices with the basil and mozzarella slices, sprinkling salt and pepper and drizzling with a bit of the balsamic in between.  Alternate tomato colors as well.
  4. You can make these a few hours ahead for guests, refrigerating covered until you are ready to serve, or serve immediately!  It is best to give your guests forks and knives for this salad.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition per serving: 198 calories; 9 g fat; 13 g carbs; 1 g fiber; 14 g protein (Bonus: 20% DV vitamin A; 30% DV vitamin C; 46% DV calcium)