Saturday, September 20, 2008

Goodbye Summer

It seems a shame to have to give up the wonderful tomatoes like these heirlooms that I got from the farmer's market: Cherokee purples, Zebras, and Brandywines. There is no substitution for good tomatoes, and if I can't find good ones, I choose a different recipe unless I can use canned ones (soups, stews, etc.). I mean caprese salad, is so simple with VERY simple ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella, sweet basil and Balsamic vinaigrette, +/- salt, pepper, EVOO. All the ingredients are raw, so that means the cheese and the tomatoes are critical. Bad tomatoes kill the salad, and it's not worth putting in your mouth.

Caprese salad

2 large tomatoes, the best you can find

Mozzarella cheese

Chiffonade fresh sweet basil leaves

High quality EVOO

Balsamic vinegar

Salt, pepper to taste

I usually will slice my tomates either in rounds or in quarters, salt them, and let them drain some of the water, concentrating the flavor. I don't typically seed them unless the juice is over the top. Cut your cheese however you want (I happened to do little sticks this time), drizzle with balsamic vinegar and EV olive oil (something STRONG). Finish with basil, salt and pepper. Some people don't like pepper on tomatoes, but I do. I also go a little heavy on salt, but it's so complimentary to tomatoes, that I don't mind.

A more classic way to do it is to have round tomato slices, full basil leaves, and round cheese slices stacked on top of each other. The colors are representative of the Italian flag (Margherita pizza?). Then put your finishing touches on it. Either way, it can't miss!

1 comment:

JW said...

Those look AWESOME! See my post re: Jennifer's birthday dinner. The winter caprese salad is an excellent substitute. Slow-roasting Roma tomatoes will give you a taste of summer all year round. JW