Grilled Caprese Salad with Venison Summer Sausage

One of the best parts of summer is the abundance of vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes that we use is this grilled Caprese salad

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
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Summer means vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes. From tomato sandwiches, to BLTs, to just sliced and lightly salted, we eagerly consume these delicacies on an almost daily basis right up until cooler temperatures signal the end of tomato season. 

Fresh vine ripened heirloom tomatoes are one of the best parts of summer.

One of my favorite ways to serve tomatoes is in a Caprese salad. This simple preparation finds sliced tomatoes layered with slices of whole-milk fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle the salad with olive oil, hit it with a little salt and pepper, and you have a perfect summer appetizer. 

Layer the ingredients in a shallow aluminum pan then season and drizzle with oil and balsamic vinegar.

To “beef” up the salad, we often add sliced venison summer sausage to the mix. This recipe takes that basic dish and kicks it up a bit with the addition of balsamic vinegar glaze – then some time on the Traeger grill until the sausage and tomatoes are warmed through and the fresh mozzarella is melted and gooey. Serve it up with some thin toasted baguette slices and you have the perfect warm appetizer or even a light meal for a summer evening. 

Serve the salad with thin slices of toasted bread for sopping up the juice.

You can find balsamic glaze at most grocery stores, but it tastes even better if you make your own by bringing good balsamic vinegar to a light boil and cooking it down until it has reduced and thickened. When feeding a larger group, I offer two or more batches of glaze to make it easier for everyone to dip their bread. 

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2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

1 pound fresh, whole-milk mozzarella cheese, sliced

1 pound venison summer sausage, sliced

2-3 handfuls of fresh basil

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar glaze

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

Slice your cheese and summer sausage.

Combine your fresh tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, basil and sliced venison sausage.

Start by layering the tomatoes, cheese, and basil in a shallow aluminum pan. Overlap each new layer slightly so that all ingredients are visible. Season with salt, black pepper, and oregano. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic glaze over the ingredients.

Place the salad on your preheated grill.

Grill at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until everything is warmed through and the cheese has melted. Garnish with additional basil. Serve with thin slices of toasted baguette bread.

Grill until the cheese has melted and the tomatoes are lightly roasted.

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