Week 32 – Caprese Salad

b.salad 11.08.15 caprese salad

I wait all year to make my first Caprese Salad.The succulent tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, earthy basil and sweet/tart vinaigrette.It is one of my absolute favorite summer dishes.Best of all, it is super easy to make, making it the perfect outdoor/ dining food!Now, I will have to admit that I was hoping to show you tomatoes from my own garden, but our cold spring has turned into a cool summer.As a resident, I have no complaints of our summer… chilly, slightly overcast mornings move into warm, sunny afternoons.But as a gardener, I am looking at a bevy of tomatoes on the vine that can’t seem to make the change from green to red.I couldn’t wait any longer and so resorted to picking up some local tomatoes from our nearby market.The tomatoes are key to this salad.The best way to make this salad is with fresh from the vine tomatoes, preferably heirloom.And if you haven’t tried an heirloom tomato, this salad is the perfect opportunity to experiment a little.Heirloom tomatoes come in a wide array of colors from your classic red, to green with stripes, to deep purple to a beautiful yellow mottled with burgundy.Often misshapen in weird, sometimes grotesque forms, cut into an heirloom tomato and you will find succulent, juicy, sweet (with just enough acid) flesh that speaks of summer.Bon Appetit


Caprese Salad
This is just one of an infinite variety of ways to make this simple, summer salad. The key to its success is using the highest quality ingredients you can find.

Serves 2 (if you LOVE fresh from the vine tomatoes) or 4 (if you have a more typical appetite)
2 large heirloom tomatoes
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
2 sprigs fresh basil
sea salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Slice the tomato in thick (1/4″ or so) slices. Slice the mozzarella in slices about half as thick as the tomato. Julienne the basil. Place a slice of tomato on a plate, add a layer of mozzarella, another tomato and another layer of mozzarella (continue layering if serving salad on a platter for family style service).

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and mustard. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad. Sprinkle basil and sea salt over the top. Serve immediately.

I Love Blueberries!

b.vegfruit 11.08.12 blueberries
As I have said before, each summer I look forward to loading up our baskets and heading to a nearby farm to do a bit of berry picking.  My son will eat them as fast as he can pick them off the bush.  My daughter, on the other hand, has never liked any sort of berry and so…

Week 31 – Cherry Quinoa Salad

It’s been an extraordinary couple weeks.  My sister gave birth to an adorable, snuggly, baby boy, Benjamin.  My brother got married to a wonderful, beautiful woman and the parties that marked the occasion were joyous and festive.  And my husband’s family came into town from their points scattered around the country to vacation together and to celebrate my…

My Pig – Part 2

b.story 11.07.29 11.08.05 pigs
So, I have to admit something to you.  My friends have been laughing at me.  When I tell them that I met the farmer that raised the pig that is now sitting in little white packages in my freezer, they remind me of a recent TV show that pokes fun at Pacific Northwestherners and Portlandia specifically.…

Week 30 – Corn Salad

b.salad 11.08.01 corn salad
In the summer months, there is nothing better than fresh corn on the cob. Fresh from the farm and into the pot. Corn (and peas) begins to lose its sweetness as soon as it is plucked from the stalk. The more direct the route from stalk to pot, the sweeter your corn will taste. My…