Here’s another version of the classic Caprese salad. This one takes a little bit more prep work than the original post, and it’s a welcome variation because you can eat this one without a knife. Sometimes, the fewer utensils the better, especially when having to carry everything up and down a spiral staircase. This is a delicious side dish for a summer BBQ. To make it a hearty main dish, you can add couscous or quinoa and some toasted pine nuts.
The cherry tomatoes and basil came from my garden in the sky. I was pretty excited that I grew enough tomatoes to make a salad that fed 5 people!
Thanks to The Curvy Carrot for this fantastic recipe.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about three tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
- 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into bite-size pieces
- Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1. Toss the tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the sugar in a medium bowl. Set it aside and let stand on its own for 30 minutes.
2. Transfer the tomatoes to a salad spinner and spin them for a few seconds to remove the seeds and extra juice. Make sure you conserve the juice.
3. Put the spun tomato juice/seeds through a fine strainer to reserve the juice and discard the seeds.
4. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat on the stove.
5. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato liquid, the shallot, and vinegar to a simmer. Let simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. (I didn;t have that much tomato liquid so I just let it simmer for a while and then decided it was done when I felt like it)
6. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and cool to room temperature.
7. Whisk in the oil and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add the basil and the mozzarella to the tomatoes. Toss gently to combine.
When making this salad, I thought it was going to be really weird. Then, I couldn’t stop eating it. The combination of spicy and sweet is definitely addicting, so watch out. Sweet Corn Charlie had arava, which looks like a cantaloupe from the outside and a honeydew from the inside. It is as sweet as candy, with none of the HFCS. I also used cantaloupe. However, you can use any melon you want. The original recipe called for blackberries, but those were not an option at the farmstand , so I used raspberries. The original recipe is from Food and Wine magazine.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 green melon (about 1 1/4 pounds)—halved, cut into wedges, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 orange or yellow melon (about 1 1/4 pounds)—halved, cut into wedges, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons snipped chives
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the melon and raspberries on a platter. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit. Garnish the salad with the feta and snipped chives and serve.
This simple salad was inspired by dinners at Frankie’s 457, including two of their salads: One has arugula and pecorino, and the other has a cipollini onion vinaigrette. My version uses balsamic vinegar and vegetables that can be found at the winter farmer’s markets including arugula, shallots, radishes, and carrots. Although I don’t crave fresh, crisp greens quite as much during the chilly winter months, this pretty salad balances out a heavy meal. You can definitely substitute your favorite greens in place of arugula.
4 cups arugula
1/4 cup thinly sliced Pecorino Romano
2 carrots, shaved (just continue to peel the carrot in long strips)
3 radishes, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. To make the dressing, peel and roughly chop the shallot. Pulse the shallot in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, and pulse again. Add the olive oil and blend until smooth.
2. Layer the arugula, carrots, radishes, and romano on 4 plates. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.