Friday, October 15, 2010
I used to think that caprese salad is the dumbest thing in the world. Why? I'll tell you why. I was watching an episode of Sex and the City and Charlotte was ordering a caprese salad. When her salad came out, it was one single slice of tomato, one slice of mozzarella, and one basil leaf! I was so perplexed. Why the hell would anyone want to eat that? It's so uninteresting! If I want to eat one slice of tomato, one slice of cheese, and one LEAF I wouldn't pay $5 for it!
Since I'm a grown up now, I decide to go back to all of the food I despised/thought was stupid as a child and try it again. Or else, I'd just be stuck in the child phase forever! Not that it's bad to be a child at heart, but it's pretty stupid to stay ignorant.
Let me tell you, I am a changed woman! ...as far as caprese salad is concerned, that is.
I found the "recipe" over at Steamy Kitchen. Why is recipe in quotes? Well, why the hell do you need a recipe for one slice of tomato, one slice of cheese, and one leaf of basil? Heh. I'm a hardass critic.
I made the pesto dressing first because it's not rocket science to slice tomatoes and cheese.
This is what I learned, any good vinaigrette dressing needs some shallots. One small shallot to be exact. Shallots are delicious.
Get a cup of loosely packed basil leaves, torn.
In a mini chopper, combine basil leaves, chopped shallots, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 2 tablespoons of water, and get this, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar! I know, I know, Jaden Hair said to use white wine vinegar, but I don't have white wine vinegar, m'okay? What I have is balsamic vinegar and I think balsamic vinegar is the shit, if you must know.
Give that two or three pulses then pour in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Pulse that mixture a couple of time...and you're done!
Now to the easy part. Slice them tomatoes and them mozzarella balls.
You can stack them up in layers of alternating tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves. Like so:
Or you can arrange them in a circle like this:
Then you drizzle that little peace of heaven called basil vinaigrette on top and you say "ChoppingBlock, your little self was sooooo wrong! How could you be so stupid?!?"
Here's the low down.
1 cup loosely pack basil - large and pretty leaves
2 large ripe tomatoes - slice
1 large mozzarella ball - slice
1 cup loosely pack basil - torn
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 small shallot - chopped
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pepper flakes for the lulz
In a minichopper or blender, blend the torn basil leaves, salt, shallot, water, pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar. When that is semi blended, slowly add in the olive oil. Pulse until all is mixed.
Layer sliced tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices.
Arrange layers of tomato, mozzarella, basil, tomato, mozzarell, basil, tomato, mozzarell, basil, etc.
Drizzle the basil vinaigrette on top and enjoy.
1. My friend, Nur, said that heirloom tomatoes make for excellent caprese salad.
2. I made this for my class and my prof liked the basil vinaigrette a lot. Win!
3. Easiest thing to make for a potluck!