~more recently updated recipes~
BACK IN 2005: The Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe is one I picked up many years ago but have never made before. It's a traditional dressing for "caprese" salad, that's the ever-so-varied combinations of tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil. (It would have been great on Day 87's Fresh Tomato & Mozzarella, too. Tonight I tossed about half the Balsamic Vinaigrette with grape tomatoes from the farmers market that were indeed as sweet as grapes and fresh mozzarella.
2015 UPDATE: Ten years! I'm still half-stunned albeit pleased when so many recipes from that first year of A Veggie Venture (that first year of blogging, even if my fourth year of writing about food) still appeal! That's one of the many benefits of cooking with real food, the classic recipes and ingredients. We gobbled up this salad, it could totally be a salad supper for Meatless Monday, say.
RECIPE for GRAPE TOMATO CAPRESE SALAD with BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4 (easily adjusted for more or fewer servings)
1 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Leafy greens such as arugula (pictured), spinach, other soft leafy lettuce greens
Big handful of fresh basil, leaves torn
8 ounces grape tomatoes, preferably sweet, halved or quartered
1 ball fresh mozzarella, diced, or mini mozzarella balls
BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE Mix the dressing ingredients with a whisk or in the food processor attachment of an immersion blender. (If you use a whisk, you'll need to mince the garlic. If you use the immersion blender, mince the garlic clove by itself before adding the other ingredients.) Taste and adjust to taste.
CAPRESE SALAD In a salad bowl, toss just the leafy greens and basil with just enough Balsamic Vinaigrette to dampen the leaves. If you like, arrange the greens on serving plates.
Separately, toss the tomatoes with some of the remaining dressing, drop onto the salad bowl or salad plates. Top with diced mozzarella or mini mozzarella balls. Drizzle balls with remaining dressing, not covering them entirely, just a little for show.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
COLD PLATES Alton Brown says good restaurants chill the plates beforehand! Good idea!
COLOR STAIN I toss the leafy greens and tomatoes separately so they can be arranged either in the bowl or on plates separately. You could also toss the fresh mozzarella with either one but to my eyes, the color stain is unappealing. I do like just a touch over top, however. Go ahead, "paint" the plates with your own eyes!
SHARP TASTE This Balsamic Vinaigrette has a quite-sharp taste, this is how I like vinaigrettes. Others may prefer a more traditional, balanced taste, see Traditional Balsamic Dressing.
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MORE WAYS TO MAKE "CAPRESE" SALADS~ Fresh Tomato with Fresh Mozzarella ~
~ Insalata Caprese ~
~ Tossed Caprese Salad ~
~ Twelve Favorite Tomato Recipes ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella for a Crowd ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
COOKING IN SEASON, THIS WEEK IN AUGUSTGrape Tomato Caprese Salad (< so many tomato recipes for August!) My Quick Panzanella Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Dill & Basil Broccoli, Bacon & Raisin Salad with Cheddar Herbed Grape Tomatoes King Hill Farms Simple & Sublime Beets (< always, always, for the first roasted beet) Amaranth Greens More Matters: The New Fruits & Veggies Campaign Insalata Caprese Fresh Tomato Sauce Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato Tomato & Onion Salad Grilled Beets, Greens & Beans Stuffed Peppers Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Browned Butter Stuffed Zucchini Boats (< this week's reader favorite!) Skillet Stewed Tomatoes & Okra
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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