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A Nashville Chef Reinvents a Classic Italian Caprese Salad

Chef Joey Fecci was inspired while in Italy to put a twist on the iconic Caprese salad.

By Joey Fecci

9:00 AM EDT on September 21, 2023

Caprese Salad from Chef Joey Fecci at Yolan in Nashville.

The most important part of this Caprese salad recipe is sourcing the best possible ingredients! Look for heirloom tomatoes and sungold tomatoes at your local farmer’s market. If you cannot find sungold tomatoes, you can substitute with any other heirloom grape-sized tomatoes. At Yolan, we use a buffalo milk burrata that is produced in Campania. This might be a little trickier to source for the home chef, but you can still find high quality burrata that is either imported or produced locally – it really makes all the difference!

Joey Fecci is Chef de Cuisine of Yolan at The Joseph, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville.

Caprese Salad with a Twist

Caprese Salad with a Twist

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Recipe by Joey Fecci


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 cup 1 sungold tomatoes

  • 1 1 ball burrata

  • 4 4 heirloom tomatoes

  • 6-8 6-8 leaves fresh basil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 extra virgin olive oil plus more for finishing

  • 3 cloves 3 garlic, crushed

  • 5 sprigs 5 thyme

  • flakey salt

  • black pepper


  • For the heirloom tomatoes
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath.
  • Take the heirloom tomatoes and gently score the bottom of each.
  • Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10-15 seconds – don’t go any more than this, as you are not looking to cook the tomato.
  • Directly transfer into the ice bath and let sit for a few minutes.
  • Once cool, remove the tomatoes from the ice bath, and begin to peel off the skins on all sides.
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds and pulp (pulp can be reserved for another use). 
  • On a small baking sheet, layer the tomato petals around, make sure they are not touching each other.
  • Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes (NOTE: They should not be submerged – there should just be a good coating on the bottom like a “shallow fry”).
  • Place the crushed garlic and thyme sprigs over the top then place in an oven set at 185 degrees for 1.5 – 2 hours or until the tomatoes are firm but jammy. 
  • For the sungold tomatoes
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Place the sungolds in the boiling water for 10-15 seconds, then transfer immediately into an ice bath. 
  • Take the sungold tomatoes out and remove the skins gently. 
  • Method 
  • On a large plate, break the burrata up using a spoon in the center.
  • Surround the burrata with the confit heirloom tomatoes and the peeled sungolds.
  • Tear the basil leaves and garnish on top.
  • Season everything with a good drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, flakey salt, and cracks of black pepper. 

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