Out of this world Caprese Salad

11 Jul


Caprese Salad. Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella. What’s not to like?? Nothing, that’s what!

I have been hankering for this fresh Summer salad for quite some time, and I finally remembered while I was grocery shopping the other week, allowing me to purchase the necessary items: a ball of mozzarella. I always have tomatoes on hand because hi, they’re delicious. But I wasn’t going to stop there, I was going to add everything I had in my kitchen that was applicable. Sidenote: John and I will never agree on certain aspects of food, and one of them is my love of multi-ingredient incorporations. For example he likes pizzas with 1-2 toppings, whereas I prefer 5+. He likes a good scrambled egg, I like my eggs scrambled with about 10000 veggies incorporated. Who’s right? Well I’m the one with the critically-acclaimed (not really) food blog, so you decide…

Things I had at my disposal: arugula, red onion, fresh peas, and avocado. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we’ve got ourselves a salad.

First, it’s time to make a homemade balsamic reduction. When I’ve been too lazy I just pour a normal non-reduced balsamic vinaigrette on my caprese salads, but it just doesn’t yield the same savory/sweet/delicious balance. I was not about the make the same mistake.

Take yer balsamic



And put it in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 Tbs(ish) of honey. I usually just start squeezing the honey in, zone out for a few seconds, then stop squeezing. Exact measurements and high integrity, that’s what you’ll find here.



Once this mixture starts to boil, turn down the heat low enough to have a slow simmer. And let it maintain this simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Disclaimer: if trying to smell this, the vinegar fumes will be potent, PREPARE YOUR NASAL CANALS! Once the vinegar has reduced to 1/2-1/4th of it’s original volume, you’re ready.



Se aside and allow to cool, or at least not be stupid hot (another Disclaimer: do not lick the spoon you stirred your HOT thick sticky reduction with for a few minutes, it WILL stick to and burn your tongue. I learned the hard/moron way). 

It’s veggie time. Prep your arugula with some thinly sliced red onions for a resting bed for the real stars: tomato and mozzarella



Arrange these beauties on top of the greens.

For the peas, after I shelled them I popped them in the freezer for about 10 minutes, just to get them nice and chilled. Some people will boil them for a minute or 2 to get the vibrant green out, but I really love the flavor of raw shelled peas, so I went the opposite direction.



Slice up 1/2 an Avocado and fan out on the side, and sprinkle everything with a chiffonade of basil (roll up basil leaves and thinly slice, giving you thin ribbon or julienned Basil)



Drizzle your not-the-temperature-of-the-sun balsamic reduction, a few glugs of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and freshly-ground black pepper  over everything.


Boom. Diggety.


{ Homemade Balsamic Reduction }

  • 1 C Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Honey

Heat balsamic vinegar and honey over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Turn down heat until a slow simmer occurs. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until mixture reduces to 1/4-1/2 volume of it’s original. Allow to cool before use.



One Response to “Out of this world Caprese Salad”

  1. thefoodandwinehedonist July 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    HOw’d it taste with the avocado? I love them, but think the combination wouldn’t work. Same with the peas…. Is it a coincidence my name is John, too?

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