Bibb Lettuce Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil Vinaigrette, and Pine Nuts

Tavis Rockwell

Equus & Jack’s Lounge - Louisville, KY

This simple salad reworks the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.


  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sugar
  • Small pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into quarters
  • 4 thin slices mozzarella
  • 4 leaves Bibb lettuce


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Place the basil, parsley, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and cayenne in a blender. Purée until smooth and frothy.With the blender still running, slowly drizzle in the oil to make a vinaigrette. Set aside.

Place the pine nuts in a small baking dish and toast in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil over high heat. Let the vinegar reduce for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it is thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Set the oven to broil. Place the tomato quarters in a baking dish. Top each wedge with a mozzarella slice. Place under the broiler and cook until the mozzarella is golden brown, about 3 minutes.

To serve, divide the lettuce leaves among 4 serving plates. Place a broiled tomato wedge on top of each piece of lettuce. Drizzle with basil vinaigrette and balsamic reduction. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.


4 servings