Meg’s Cooking Corner

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tomato Caprese Salad

It's finally summer here! I have to share my favorite salad that's so good I could eat it every day. The classic Caprese salad of slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar is good, but this version gets all the fresh flavors in every bite. Perfect for lunch or served for dinner alongside your favorite bbq or Italian meal. This recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and is light, fresh and delicious. Enjoy!

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 tsp sugar
1Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and patted dry
1 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, sugar and 1/4 tsp salt together. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes so that the tomatoes give up some of their juices. Transfer the tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to a salad spinner and spin to remove the seeds and the liquid.

Pour the accumulated seeds and liquid into a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds, reserving the liquid. Return the tomatoes to the original bowl and pour the tomato liquid into a small saucepan (you should have between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of liquid). To the small saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and garlic. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. This will take about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then whisk in the olive oil.

Add the mozzarella cheese, basil and cooled dressing to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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