Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Use Your Summer Garden Tomato Bounty - Caprese Salad with Mozzarella & Basil Recipe

I love this time of year when even my small garden is giving me fresh, yummy produce and the farmers' markets are bursting at the seams with variety. Better yet are the friends, family and neighbors with excess garden production who are willing to share their surplus.

Tomatoes seem to be plentiful in this neck of the woods lately. Fortunately, they have tons of uses and can be put away for later use (i.e. salsa, sauce, etc.) But, my favorite thing to make with a juicy, fresh tomato is caprese salad. It was a staple on the menu of local Italian restaurants when I lived in New Jersey, but it's harder to find here in Minnesota. Please try my simple recipe. But, I warn you - - it can become addictive!

Caprese Salad

2-4 garden fresh tomatoes, sliced (use enough to cover a dinner plate when laid flat)
4-6 oz fresh mozzarella, in small slices
6 fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Clove Garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper

Slice tomatoes and arrange flat on a dinner plate. Slice the mozzarella and arrange over the tomatoes. Finely chop basil and sprinkle over all.

For the dressing, first mix vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper - stir until salt is dissolved. Add olive oil and stir well. Drizzle all over tomato plate. Cover and refrigerate 20-30 minutes and then serve.

Is best served with a rustic Italian bread to be used for sopping up extra dressing! This no-knead bread recipe works perfectly for this.

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