Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Caprese Salad

Some people just don't like vegetables. My husband is one of those people. Funny because he will eat peas... cucumbers... broccoli.... tomatoes... potatoes... and carrots. Outside of that and I better think of a delicious way to conceal them because he will not be thrilled about eating them. And sometimes he just won't eat them at all. So when I want to make pasta salads for BBQ's I always try and throw in a good portion of veggies to at least equal the amount of pasta. Generally, he'll eat the salad, but pick around the veggies he doesn't like. So when I saw this salad recipe I knew it was right up his alley. And if you're like my husband and aren't a vegetable person, it's probably up yours too!

Most of you are probably familiar with caprese- an Italian dish usually consisting of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in some form. Well this is obviously a take on that specialty in pasta salad form and boy is it gooood! It may look so simple that you're probably assuming it would be bland. It is NOT at all.  The tomatoes are diced and then marinated in an olive oil dressing and then everything is tossed together and marinated as one. My husband looooved this! So much so that he ate it everyday until it was gone, even when it went past it's prime, because it was so delicious that he didn't want to waste it haha

So if you don't like vegetables, or even if you do, this is really a go-to salad for the summertime! It's definitely made my list for the future.

Caprese Salad
adapted from Food Network Magazine by the Bidens'

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound pasta, such as campanelle, penne or fusilli
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add sugar, if desired (depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes). Add the tomatoes and gently toss.Marinate at room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. Stir in the basil and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally, until serving.

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