Sometimes in the winter I get a little wistful thinking about summer and all of the beautiful fresh ingredients that go along with it. I long for something bright, fresh and clean to eat. This may be due to the fact that in the winter, I tend to overeat heavier foods . . . which dare I say is a lot of fun. Or maybe it’s because the grayer skies have me wishing for warmer times. But I digress . . .
When I’m feeling this way, caprese salad always comes to mind quickly. Not only is it eye-catching and appetizing in appearance with its vivid colors, it also offers an instant imaginary trip back to warm summer days with its fresh taste combination of basil and tomatoes. It’s fresh, satisfying and healthy, and it makes me forget about winter just long enough to appreciate it again.
4 ripe roma tomatoes, sliced
12 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic reduction (see below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Honey
Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the vinegar is reduced by about half. Set aside and allow to cool while you prepare the salad.
Assemble the salad by beginning with a tomato slice, then cheese and finally, basil. Continue layering the ingredients in this manner, making sure that all of the beautiful colors are visible.
After the salad is assembled, drizzle generously with olive oil and about 2 Tbsp. of balsamic reduction. Season with salt and pepper.