Friday, March 11, 2011
Traditionally, caprese salad is made with thick slices of regular-sized tomatoes. But being in the midwest, we're cursed with a lack of quality full-sized tomatoes. I really don't even eat regular tomatoes unless I can get heirlooms from the farmer's market--I get sick of buying washed out, watery-looking tomatoes from the store. I find grape (or even roma) tomatoes to be much more flavorful and pretty, even in the winter.
If you can't find pearl mozzarella, you could cut up a ball of fresh mozzarella or use bocconcini (those little bite-sized balls of mozzarella that they sell in tubs packed with whey or water. I will admit, the bocconcini are much more attractive than the pearls.
The clove I used today was enormous. Look--you can see how it grew around a smaller clove. I would really recommend using a very small clove if you intend to eat this around anyone else other than your spouse. But I do so love garlic.
I pick off about half a dozen leaves, and stack them in a pile. They're going to get cut into nice little ribbons, or chiffonaded.
I didn't salt the salad--the water would draw the moisture out of the tomatoes and would water down the dressing. I actually didn't miss the flavor of salt at all, but if you do, just salt the salad right before you plan on eating and serving it.
Give everything a toss, top with whole basil leaves, and serve! Even if it's snowing out, you can pretend that summer is here.
Recipe: Caprese Salad
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 package pearl mozzarella (or fresh mozzarella cut into bite-sized pieces)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
pepper, to taste
pinch of sugar
Combine all ingredients; toss and serve!