Tuesday, July 2

Baby Caprese Salad

We've been eating summer tomatoes (grapes, cherries, and heirlooms) every week since they've been showing up in the farmers market. A caprese salad is a classic choice (see my ultimate recipe here), but this slightly-deconstructed baby version is even easier to eat, pack, and enjoy - plus, it's adorable. Instead of basil, I made a flavorful mixed herb and walnut pesto to toss the tomatoes and mozzarella in. I added some extra greens for body, but even some pasta or orzo would be great. It will keep for a few days in the fridge, making this a great leftover lunch.

Baby Caprese Salad:
  • Combine 2 c. loosely packed basil leaves, 1 handful* chopped chives, and 1/2 c. loosely packed parsley leaves in a blender.
  • Add in 1/3 c. toasted chopped walnuts, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 pinch of red chili flakes, and a large pinch of salt.
  • Puree until smooth, adding in more olive oil as necessary to form a smooth paste.
  • Add in 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese and check for seasoning.**
  • Halve 1 pint of grape tomatoes and toss with 1 c. baby mozzarella balls*** and a few spoonfuls of the pesto.
  • Toss to combine, then add in a handful of arugula and gently toss once more.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.****

Serves two-four (side dish)
*About 8-10 chives.
**Pesto can be made a few days in advances, covered with plastic wrap, and kept in the fridge.
***I used perline but haved bocconcini or diced water mozzarella also works.
****Salad can be eaten cold or at room temperature and will keep in the fridge for a day.