Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Does it get any better than this?  A new Whole Foods opened up near my house.  Of course I was there for the Grand Opening  at 10am this morning!  The first item that caught my eye were some organic plum heirloom tomatoes.  I smelled them and the aroma was wonderful.  I knew right then that we would be having a Caprese Salad with our dinner tonight.  My kids love the taste of balsamic vinegar and this salad has plenty of it.  I was also the lucky recipient of a very special bottle of Olive Oil.  My good friends Ann and Gerry gave me a bottle of EOLIA Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Their daughter lives in Chicago and they purchased the olive oil from a specialty store there called TA-ZE.  Let me tell you, this olive oil is really something!!!  It is from Turkey --which surprised me and according to the TA-ZE website their olive oil is made from olives grown in Turkey's Aegean region.  Here is another link to the type of oil that Ann and Gerry gave me as a gift --it is called EOLIA!  Delicious!

Claire's Caprese Salad

Equal amounts of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leave, chiffonade (cut into thin strips)
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

In this example the picture shows a salad that serves 4-6 people.  I cut up three medium size tomatoes and about 6 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese.  The key is to cut the tomato slices into a similar size as the cheese slices.  I usually use about 10 nice, medium size basil leaves for this amount.  I use 2 or three turns of the pepper mill and about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.  I am guessing that I pour about 2 tablespoons of both vinegar and olive oil over the salad.  You can make this several hours in advance and let it sit at room temperature until ready to serve.  This is also wonderful on a crusty baguette!