A simple salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes picked straight from the vine, a handful of fresh basil, and a drizzle of Tuscan-Herb olive oil.
Mr. EN and I have a friend named John who doesn’t really like vegetables or salads of any kind. So last night, when we were invited to John’s for dinner and asked to bring “a salad” I was a little stumped before I settled on this Five-Minute Caprese Salad. I know most of you have probably had this dish before but in my opinion just about everyone we know (and now even John!) loves it.
Yesterday, weather-wise, was what I would call a perfect Saturday. We woke up to a cool 52 degrees, walked the dog, went to the Farmers’ Market, did some chores inside and outside the house, and went on a long relaxing bike ride. When we got home, we had only 30 minutes until we were supposed to be at John and Becky’s which was just enough time to pull these tomatoes off the vine, take a quick shower, and whip up this salad.
Surprise! John, the former vegetable hater, gobbled it up and he EVEN HAD SECONDS! Not one tomato was left in the dish! Yes, this salad is that good. 😊
The Nutrition 411
This salad is…
- Loaded with Lycopene an antioxidant that is present in red- and pink-colored fruits and vegetables. Lycopene has been shown to have heart, blood pressure, prostate, osteoporosis, skin and other benefits.
- High in Vitamin A and Vitamin C which help power up your immune system, keep your skin and hair healthy, and potentially repair damaged cells that can lead to cancer.
- A source of healthy fat thanks to the olive oil.
- A summery-fresh flavor combo that’s pretty hard to tire of: homegrown tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and peppery-sweet basil.
- Any kind of tomatoes you have will work. This recipe will work with any kind of tomato. If you have larger tomatoes just cut them up!
- Use fresh mozzarella cheese. It has a much higher moisture content than the low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese you buy in a solid block or shredded in a bag. That kind of mozzarella is great for melting but it won’t work well in this salad. You need the higher fat and moisture content of fresh mozzarella to absorb the oil, spices, and all that tomatoey flavor.
- Fresh basil is a must. t’ll cost you a few bucks but it’s worth it.
- About the oil: Any kind of high quality olive oil will work but this Tuscan Herb olive oil (pictured below) from the Olive Cart really kicks this salad up a notch.
I hope you’ll make this salad pronto-quick, while there are still a few fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes OF ANY KIND left.
Last night, after we ate this 5-Minute Caprese Salad and an awesome dinner prepared by Becky, we ended our night with a bonfire overlooking the Lake (sweatshirts required), some homemade apple crisp, and a few rounds of Hand and Foot a card game I never knew existed until last year. Ahhh….. Pure Michigan.
Peace, love and good eats; from our empty nest to yours.
Trending in the EN Kitchen: Tuscan Olive Oil from the Olive Cart
5 Minute Caprese Salad
Yield 4 servings
- 4 cups of cherry tomatoes, any kind, halved
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons high quality olive oil (we used Tuscan Herb Olive Oil purchased from the Olive Cart)
- Juice of ½ fresh lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, cheese, and basil.
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil and the lemon juice and whisk until blended.
- Pour the oil/lemon juice mixture on top of the salad. Stir gently until combined.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Optional - If you love garlic add one crushed or finely minced garlic clove.