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Caprese Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette | Relishing It

Now I’ve mentioned here before how much I love tomotoes, but just in case you’re new to Relishing It, let me emphasize this.  It’s not just that I love tomotoes– I’m obsessed with them.  Every summer I wait.  And wait.  And wait until the first ripe tomotoes show up at the farmers’ market.  And then I try to fit them into almost every meal.  For the record, I don’t buy tomatoes when they’re not in season for a number of reasons.  First, obviously, is the taste.  Out-of-season tomatoes tend to be stiff and flavorless.  Second, I have serious ethical concerns about the industrial tomato industry, which is where many of our “winter” tomatoes come from.  Take a look at ‘Tomatoland’, a brilliant book by Barry Estabrook if you’re interested in just how terrible the industry is.  Here’s a link to the NY Times review.  Now that THAT is out of the way…

Caprese Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette | Relishing It

I love creating all sorts of dishes with tomatoes.  This heirloom tomato tart is among my favorite summer dishes.  And this tomato Jam is a versitle spread for both sweet and savory things.  If you’ve ever wanted to make your own homemade ketchup–this recipe is a good one to try.  I also can salsa every year to share with family and friends, and can a huge supply of plain tomatoes that help get us through the winter.

Caprese Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette | Relishing It

Basil Vinaigrette | Relishing It

As much as I love to use them as an ingredient, nothing beats eating them in their natural state.  They are so juicy and slightly tender.  A sprinkle of salt brings out their amazing robust flavor.  I love a good caprese salad.  However, I’ve discovered that I’m not a huge fan of eating whole basil leaves.   A few here and there are fine, but I much prefer the basil flavor to come through in a delicious vinaigrette that I can let my tomatoes and fresh mozzarella swim in.  Every bite gets a little basil burst.  It works for me, and I hope it works for you!  Enjoy!

Caprese Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Caprese Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette

Heirloom tomatoes, big and small

Fresh mozzarella

Extra basil leaves, for garnish

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Basil Vinaigrette:

(makes enough for a small platter)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, sliced

1/2 cup packed fresh basil

2 large anchovy fillets in olive oil, minced

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and pepper, to taste

To make the Basil Vinaigrette:  Place all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a mini food processor.  Pulse it a few times to finely chop the basil.  Scrape the sides, as needed.  Slowly add the olive oil and continue running the machine until the vinaigrette is a relatively smooth consistency.  Use immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator for a few days.  Let it come to room temperature before using.

Arrange the heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on a platter, using as many as you would like (double the vinaigrette recipe, if making a larger portion).   Pour the dressing over and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Eat immediately.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a lovely weekend.

xo

Laurie

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