It’s too hot to cook in Tampa and we are hungry for a taste of summer now! With this recipe, it’s as easy as 1-2-3-4! I grab some fresh Basil from my herb garden, a few Heirloom tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar and some fresh mozzarella. In a few minutes, we will have the amazing fresh taste of Italy, right here in our kitchen in Florida!
The Heirloom tomatoes are key to this Caprese Salad. I like to pick different colors to add texture to the platter. Did you know the different colors means different flavors? Read this article to learn more: http://tomatoheadquarters.com/tomatoes-farm/heirloom-tomato-varieties-flavor-profiles-related-to-color/
I slice the tomatoes about a half an inch thick.
After I slice the tomatoes, I quickly whip up some balsamic reduction to drizzle over it. I pour about a half a cup of balsamic vinegar into a sauce pan and put it on medium. I stir. I stir again. And again and again. As it starts to reduce a good bit, I pull it off the burner and stir a bit more.
I pour it on a plate so it’s easy to drizzle. Lick the spoon – it’s so good!
While it is cooking, reducing it takes about 7 minutes, I cut up the mozzarella slices. I do these about a half an inch thick as well. I cheat: I buy the sliced mozzarella so it’s an even easier.
I lay out the tomatoes, varying the colors.
I love tomatoes, especially with some sea salt, but I contain myself and move on by adding the basil leaves. The basil is growing like a weed this summer for me in Florida so I have plenty of it!
After the basil leaves are arranged, I add the mozzarella.
I grab the Round Pond Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and liberally drizzle some of it on the Caprese Salad. Round Pond, made in Napa, California, is the BEST olive oil! Check out their website by clicking here! After the olive oil is drizzled, I then drizzle on the balsamic reduction. It’s easy to make it look like a chef did it by using a spoon.Sprinkle a little sea salt on the dish and it’s ready to eat! It takes about 12 minutes to make, literally start to finish!
Pair it with some fresh slices of avocado, brie and crackers, and fresh fruit and we are ready for our company!One more look at the Caprese Salad close up. It’s hard to believe something so easy to make, tastes so good! Enjoy!
Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.
An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.