I have decided to do a little 2-week recipe marathon. I have so many recipes “waiting” in queue to be posted and I think this brief change in direction might help me catch up a little. Plus, I would love to be able to crank some more meal ideas out onto the 100 Days of Real Food Resources page (all of which link back to recipes on this site).
So, without further ado, this particular recipe is my favorite “salad” of all time. Maybe this is because it doesn’t contain any lettuce and I am not too much of a lettuce person. This variation of the caprese salad is especially fabulous with locally grown in-season tomatoes. I ate the one pictured last night, and felt like I could have licked my plate at the end. Now that is a good salad. And if love it as much as I do you can get creative with different ways to serve it. Check out the panini I made (pictured below), which is just the salad ingredients melted inside two pieces of whole-wheat bread and served with balsamic vinegar for dipping.
- 1 ripe tomato, any variety (preferably locally grown or home grown)
- Fresh mozzarella cheese (if you can swing it the more expensive stuff is worth it…especially the balls of mozzarella floating in water)
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- Decent quality balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 serving of basil pesto (recipe below)
- Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into slices about ¼ inch thick
- Arrange the tomatoes flat on a plate, top each one with a slice of mozzarella, and then either with whole or sliced basil leaves
- Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, if desired
- Add a dollop or two of pesto to the plate
- Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar
Hint: If I am in a hurry I just chop everything up into pieces and throw it all together in a bowl. It tastes just the same that way!
- 1 loosely packed cup of fresh basil leaves removed from stem
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 whole clove of fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or mini chopper. Process until all ingredients are blended together. Leftover pesto can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week. In addition to the salad above, pesto can also be used as a pasta sauce or topping for crackers (with or without a slice of cheese).