Yield: 4-6 servings


For the crostini:

  • 3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium loaf of crusty artisan bread, sliced ½-inch to ¾-inch thick

For the basil vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 large basil leaves, chopped

To finish the salad: 

  • 12-16 oz. small to medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 round of fresh cheese, such as burrata or mozzarella*
  • 1½-2 cups lettuce leaves, such as butter lettuce or romaine
  • Large handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
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  • step 1: HideShow Images

    To prepare the crostini, heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix until evenly combined. Spread the butter over both sides of the bread slices.

  • step 2: HideShow Images

    To make the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and basil leaves in a liquid measuring cup. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender. (Alternatively, process in a blender or food processor until smooth.)

  • step 3: HideShow Images

    Place the tomato wedges in a medium bowl. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Once the grill is heated, oil the grates well. Place the bread slices on the grill, cover, and let cook, turning once, until both sides are just beginning to char, about 2 minutes per side (depending on the temperature of your grill.) Remove to a plate. On a large serving platter, place the cheese in the center. Surround the cheese with a thin layer of lettuce leaves. Top with the bread slices and tomato wedges, and sprinkle with the chopped basil. Drizzle some of the basil vinaigrette over the entire platter and save the remainder for serving, as needed.

  • step 4: HideShow Images

    *Note: I used homemade burrata from One Hour Cheese. The mozzarella is also excellent, and either would be perfect with this salad!