This week's recipe is an easy one, but one of my favorites. Caprese salad. Oh, just thinking about this is making my mouth water. I will make this as an after work snack or for a party. It's simple and we always have the ingredients on hand.
So lets get started.
- roma tomatoes
- fresh basil - this needs to be fresh, no dried stuff here
- mozzarella cheese - whole mild mozzarella works the best, but normal mozzarella will work
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar - an aged balsamic is best. The older it is the sweeter it will be.
1. Cut up tomatoes. I normally dice them, but you could also slice them. I use roma tomatoes because they have a lot of "meat" and very little seeds. But you could use anything you have on hand.
2. Cut Basil into small pieces. Again, I cut mine up into little squares, but many caprase salads will have the whole leaves. It's up to you what you want to do.
3. Cut cheese into slices.
4. Place your tomatoes, basil, and cheese on a plate. Arrange how ever you want, but remember the correct way to eat this is a bit that contains a little bit of everything.
5. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
6. Eat and enjoy!!!
Now that was easy. I get me olive oil and balsamic vinegar from a local oil shop, but most grocery stores will carry these things. I suggest spending the money on good quality oil and vinegar, it's worth it. I use a 25 year balsamic, oh yes, you buy it like wine. I also use a truffle infused olive oil, but regular extra virgin is just as good. And again, the high quality oil, the better.
And if you don't want to doll out the money for aged balsamic, you can "make" your own. Just take cheap balsamic and simmer it on the stove on the lowest setting (you DON'T want it to bubble or boil) until it is reduced to about third the volume. Make sure you check it and stir it every once in a while. It will be really thick and sweet. I takes a few hours to do this, but it's cheaper then naturally aged vinegar.
I also try to keep a basil plant going at all times. As long as you keep them from blooming, they will continue to produce yummy leaves. I currently have sweet basil, purple basil, and Thia basil. They all smell so good. And basil is easy to grow indoors.
This is a great salad for summer. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe. I know we do.