Fennel Caprese Salad with Tomato Jam Toasts

  • From Cooking Channel
Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
35 min
Inactive Prep:
10 min
40 min
4 servings


  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fennel fronds
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, quartered, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 bunches watercress (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, torn into 1-inch-pieces
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 thin slices baguette


1. For the tomato jam, combine the tomatoes, sugar, anise and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring and scraping the bottom occasionally, until the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency, about 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

2. For the salad, in a large bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the tomato jam, the balsamic, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons fennel fronds. Add the sliced fennel and watercress, toss together with the dressing and season with salt. Transfer the salad to a platter and scatter with the mozzarella.

3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Lightly brush the baguette slices with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate. Spread the toasts with the remaining tomato jam and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon fennel fronds.