Tuesday, September 26, 2017

End of Summer Caprese Salad

It's still hot, but it is definitely almost the end of the summer. That means that summer vegetables are almost out of season, so it's time to use them up!

Tomatoes are one of the best summer vegetables fruits vegetables (I'm not putting them in a fruit salad, they're vegetables) out there. Tomatoes are fine in the winter, but those big, juicy, luscious ones you get in the summer - with the perfect red color and that smell that smells like the earth and summertime - can't be beat.

Look at those beauties!
We were lucky enough to get some really nice tomatoes a few weeks ago, so we made one of our favorite recipes with big, fresh, ripe tomatoes - Caprese salad!

The real secret of a great Caprese salad? Don't. Mess. With. It. You need fresh, simple ingredients and that's it - we definitely agree with all the points in this Serious Eats article. No matter how tempting it is to think outside the box, if you want a perfect, classic Caprese that showcases the end of summer tomato in all its glory, a simple recipe is all you need!

End of Summer Caprese Salad

1 large ripe tomato
1 log mozzarella cheese*
1 bunch basil leaves
Kosher salt
Balsamic vinaigrette**

1. Slice tomato into 1/4 inch thick slices.
2. Slice mozzarella into 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. On a plate, lay a slice of tomato down, then a basil leaf, then a slice of mozzarella, then a basil leaf, then a slice of tomato, then a basil leaf, then a slice of mozzarella...in a circular pattern, overlapping the slices slightly.
4. Sprinkle with 2-3 pinches of kosher salt.
5. Drizzle lightly with balsamic.
6. Serve as an appetizer for 4 or a meal for 2.

*Log may not be the correct term here - you can get a ball of mozzarella or a...log...but either way, slice it and get the best quality you can. And if you do get a log, make sure to listen to it. It may have something to tell you.

We've been on a Twin Peaks binge marathon lately. It's amazing but also results in things like this. We apologize.
**Balsamic is a divisive thing. We like it, but if you don't, get really good quality olive oil instead. The basic balsamic from Sprouts is what we use, and it's fine - you want good quality, not necessarily fancy. 

They were out of basil leaves at Sprouts so we bought a whole plant.

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