Caprese Salad: A Perfect Summer Snack

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Fresh Basil! Right outside our back door!

Click here for the complete recipe from the Recipe from Pioneer Woman.

Whose hungry for a taste of summer in Tampa, Chicago or Boise, but it’s too hot to cook? With this easy recipe, it’s as easy as 1-2-3-4!  Grab some fresh Basil from your herb garden, a few Heirloom tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar and some fresh mozzarella.  In a few minutes, you will have the amazing fresh taste of Italy right there in your own kitchen.

The Heirloom tomatoes are key to this Caprese Salad.  Try to pick different colors to add texture to the platter.  Different colors means different flavors with heirloom tomatoes. Click here and learn more.

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Rinse the tomatoes off and pat dry.  Slice the tomatoes about a half an inch thick.IMG_7077

After I slice the tomatoes, I whip up some balsamic reduction to drizzle over it.  Making a balsamic reduction is one of those things that sounds tough, but is about as easy as boiling water.  I pour about a half a cup of balsamic vinegar into a sauce pan and put it on medium.  I stir. I stir again.  And again and again.  It takes about seven minutes for a half of a cup.  As it starts to reduce a good bit, I pull it off the burner and stir a bit more.

I pour it on a plate so it’s easy to drizzle and has a chance to cool.  Lick the spoon – it’s so good!

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While the balsamic is cooking, I cut up the mozzarella slices.  I do these about a half an inch thick as well.  I cheat: I buy the sliced mozzarella so it’s an even easier.

Lay out the tomatoes, varying the colors (so pretty!).

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I love tomatoes, especially with some sea salt, but I contain myself and move on by adding the basil leaves.  Before you add it the dish, rinse it well and pat it dry with a paper towel.

The basil is growing like a weed this summer in Florida so I have plenty of it!  I finally learned how to grow basil at home — the key is trimming it down to the bottom of the stalk when you use it.  Learn more about growing basil and other herbs by clicking here.

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After the basil leaves are arranged, add the mozzarella by layering it as well.

I grab the Round Pond Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and liberally drizzle it on.  Round Pond, made in Napa, California, is the BEST olive oil!  Check out their website by clicking hereIMG_7091After the olive oil, I then drizzle on the balsamic reduction. It’s easy to make it look like a chef did it by using a spoon.IMG_7095Sprinkle a little sea salt on the dish and it’s ready to eat!  It takes about 12 minutes to make, literally start to finish!

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Pair it with some fresh slices of avocado, brie and crackers, and fresh fruit and we are ready dinner without turning on the oven!IMG_7098One more look at the Caprese Salad close up.  It’s hard to believe something so easy to make, tastes so good!  Enjoy!

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