(Garden Caprese Salad - recipe in post)
I love Caprese flavors - the simple combination of fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella. From pastas and pizzas, to antipasti, salads, or simple plucked-from-the-garden snacking. Well, except for the mozzarella. My mozz tree didn't fruit this year.
My basil is going strong, though, and after pulling a few leaves for my salad I had the great pleasure of cupping my hands to my face and inhaling the sweet scent of fresh herb on my palms. My tomatoes are still green, but summer warmth made perfectly ripe globes an easy find.
I topped my salad with a spill of olive oil, a drizzle of aged balsamic, and a sprinkling of salt - but leaving it naked is certainly allowed. Serve it up as I did, or make it bite-sized with cherry tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls. For a more substantial meal, roughly chop and toss with al-dente pasta and a handful of fresh parmesan.
Simple Caprese Salad
Tomatoes - large hothouse or heirloom, or small cherry or grape
Fresh mozzarella - a large ball, or small balls
Olive oil, balsamic, and salt - to taste
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella, and layer with basil. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Or, skewer cherry tomatoes, balls of mozzarella, and basil for easy to eat hors d'oeuvres. Or, roughly chop and stir into al-dente pasta - serve warm or chilled.