|Before Adding Dressing|
Recipe by Robin
With a wealth of tomatoes and basil still growing in my garden, a Caprese salad seems like a natural, except for one thing. I’m obsessive about fresh mozzarella cheese. I can barely contain my desire to eat whatever quantity comes into my house once the wrapper is open. Is it the mild taste, the texture, the way it combines with other foods? (Not the latter, since I happily enjoy it sans accompaniment.) Luckily, I discovered a sealed container of fresh mozzarella balls packed in water at the local natural foods store. The 8 oz. size is perfect for this salad, with no chopping (and sneaking bites) required. And just in time for late tomatoes and basil. The success of this salad depends upon the freshness of all 3 of these ingredients.
|Use Leftover within a Day|
|Herbs for Dressing and Salad|
|Use a Variety of Tomatoes|
serves about 5
1½ - 2 lbs. assorted tomatoes
3 tbsp. basil chiffonade (see below)
½ lb. fresh mozzarella balls
2½ tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. water
1/8 tsp. agave or honey
1 small clove garlic
¼ tsp. salt
~1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2½ tsp. finely chopped chives
2½ tsp. finely chopped parsley
1½ tsp. finely chopped Greek oregano
1 tsp. finely chopped marjoram
2 tbsp. olive oil
Prepare ingredients: Cut slicing tomatoes into wedges, then cut wedges into one-inch chunks. If very liquidy, remove seeds. Drain in a strainer while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Slice large firm grape or cherry tomatoes in half and drain. Keep smaller cherry tomatoes whole. Set aside.
To chiffonade the basil, stack several leaves together and roll up into cylinder along the long edge. Slice into thin crosswise strips by cutting across the cylinder with scissors or knife. Set aside.
Drain mozzarella balls. Set aside.
Chop all herbs finely. Press garlic through garlic press.
Make dressing: In a small dish, stir together red wine vinegar, lime juice, water, and agave or honey until dissolved. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.
Stir in chopped herbs until well blended. Add oil and stir again until blended.
Assemble salad: In a salad serving bowl, toss together the drained slicing tomatoes, the cherry or grape tomatoes, and the mozzarella balls. Sprinkle the basil strips around the edge of the salad bowl. Beat dressing with fork to blend and pour over middle of salad. Toss salad at the table and serve.