Sunday, May 12, 2013

Caprese Salad!

I learned about the Caprese salad from a friend of mine who was on a health food and raw eating diet.  She made one for me years ago and I've since had a love for it.  In fact it is my favorite salad.  For one, I love veggies and I absolutely fancy cheese.  And two, the basil makes this whole concoction smell amazing.  The fragrance just brings you to another place.  

All you need is one large tomato, one red onion, a few stems of basil, and a ball of fresh mozzarella.  If you get the tomato fresh from a farmer's market, I promise you will absolutely go crazy for it.  Fresh tomatoes just have a wonderful flavor and fragrance.  And I promise it really does make a difference when making this salad.  Oh!  I forgot-- you'll need a few things for the dressing:  extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

 Slice the tomatoes into large patties and dice up the onion and basil.  While cutting the veggies, I swear I get just a little happier.  The basil is always fun because the fragrance just fills the air.  BTW, I didn't get the farm fresh tomatoes this time... I wish I did.
Next, you'll want to cut up the cheese.  You can do this any way you like.  A friend of mine slices up the cheese the same way she slices her tomatoes.  It comes out neater in appearance.  But I'm a little less organized.  I like my salads to be a little more sporadic.  So I usually chunk the cheese up a bit.  Say that five times.  Chunk the cheese.  Chunk the cheese.  Chunk the cheese.  Chunk the cheese.  Chunk the cheese.  Did you say it out loud?  hehehe Gotcha.
 After you get everything nice and diced, sliced and chunked, you'll want to lay the tomatoes down on a large plate.  I like using my bright plates because it really brings out the colors in the vegetables.  The sky blue really presents a nice contrast with the red tomatoes.
Now you're going to put everything on top of the tomatoes.  I usually throw the cheese on next, then the onion, and finally the basil.  The basil is kind of like the finishing touch because it's so light and ... well, leafy.  It acts as a garnish as well as an ingredient.  Once your veggies are all prettied up on the platter, you're going to add your dressing.  It's super easy.  Sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then add a little salt and pepper.  Try not to drown your salad in the veggies. I promise you'll only need a little bit.  The taste of the veggies should be enhanced by and not drowned in the dressing.

This salad looks, tastes, and smells amazing.  My meat eater, Sean, loves this dish.  As soon as I put it on the table today, he said, "Mommy, what is THAT!  Can I eat it?"  We both finished the entire salad.


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