Caprese Salad with Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette or Summer on a Plate
I have a new morning smoothy. It is called Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette. Not really. But I did have salad for breakfast this morning because I couldn’t wait until lunch to have more of this dressing. It is so good. I really did want to drink it. But I refrained, I just
drizzled it over this Caprese Salad. Okay, I may have slathered the salad with dressing. But I went running this morning. And that, in my opinion, means I can be a little heavy-handed with my breakfast dressing. Actually running in the morning may be a bad thing, as now I can justify almost anything I put in my mouth during the day. Somehow I think this defeats the purpose of exercising. But I don’t want to be quick to jump to conclusions.
This salad is the perfect vehicle for the Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette. Traditionally, Caprese Salad consists of slices of tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil alternately layered together and drizzled with olive oil. Instead, in this salad, tiny little mozzarella balls are paired with sweet cherry tomatoes on a bed of baby greens and arugula. The cheese immediately absorbs the vinaigrette, and between the fresh garden flavor of the basil leaves, and the sweet tomatoes, it is one of the best salads I have ever eaten. It is definitely a new favorite.
It is so simple to make, too. You just place the 2 kinds of lettuce on the plate, slice the cheese and tomatoes in half, place on top of the greens, and mix up the dressing. When ready to serve, chop up your fresh basil (it gets kind of black around the edges if you chop it up too far ahead of time), and drizzle the vinaigrette over all, ending with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.
We ate this with spaghetti, but it would also go great with the pizza I posted last week. The taste really is like summer on a plate. And since summer doesn’t end in Arizona for another 2 months, all the more time to enjoy this fresh tasting breakfast smoothie, I mean salad. 🙂
Caprese Salad With Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
- 1/2 of a 5 oz. bag of baby lettuce
- 1/4 of a 7 oz. bag of arugula
- 1 lb. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 lb. Ciliegine (cherry-sized mozzarella balls)
- 12 large fresh basil leaves, sliced in thin strips
- freshly ground pepper
- Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette (see below)
- Drain Ciliegine and let them dry for a minute on a paper towel.
- Wash grape tomatoes.
- Slice cheese and tomatoes in half.
- Layer both kinds of lettuces on a large plate.
- Alternately arrange cheese and tomatoes in rows on top of the lettuce.
- Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Make dressing, cover, and place in refrigerator.
- When ready to serve, slice basil, and sprinkle over salad.
- Drizzle dressing over everything, and top with ground black pepper.
- Keep leftovers in the refrigerator.
For the Dressing:
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 3/4 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/4 c plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Mince garlic and place in large mason jar.
- Add all other ingredients.
- Place lid on jar, and shake until smooth and blended.
- Keep in refrigerator until ready to use. (This makes quite a bit of dressing, but I like to keep the rest for salads during the week.)
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, adapted from Lauren’s Latest