Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Strawberry Caprese Salad

I have been totally strawberry-obsessed lately.  I've been putting them into my morning smoothies, eating them as snacks, adding them to salads, cocktails making muffins (recipes coming soon!).... basically trying my best to incorporate them into every meal.  And we're going strawberry picking in the next few weeks as well - the obsession will most definitely continue.

With the weather being so absolutely gorgeous lately, I've been thinking of and craving so many summery foods.  Caprese salad is definitely one of my favorite lunches to eat during the summer, yet sadly tomatoes aren't really in season yet.  Cherry and grape tomatoes are reasonable during this time of year though, so I improvised and used those.  And given the strawberry obsession, I thought "why not?" and threw some of those in there too.

This salad was really delicious.  The sweetness of the strawberries was perfect with the creamy mozzarella, and the tomatoes and basil were a wonderfully fresh counterpart.  The flavors were familiar, but the strawberries made it special.  I drizzled the whole thing with a  balsamic reduction (another recent obsession), and it was really elevated to the next level.  And now I'm really dying to make a dessert with strawberries and balsamic vinegar.  It was my first time trying that combo, and I want more!

When food is this gorgeous and fresh, you don't have to do much to it.  Keep it simple and let the food speak for itself.  I served this alongside mushroom-pesto paninis, and it was a perfect spring meal.  Healthy, fresh, and flavorful.  I could eat like this all year-round.

Strawberry Caprese Salad
a Pink Parsley Original

  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup hulled and quartered strawberries
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4-5 basil leaves
Toss the tomatoes with the salt and sugar in a colander, and allow to drain for 10-15 minutes to remove excess water.

Meanwhile, bring the vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cook until it is thick and syrupy, and has reduced to just a few tablespoons, five to ten minutes.  Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, and lemon juice.  Season with a pinch of salt.  Toss with the tomatoes, strawberries, mozzarella, and basil.  Before serving, drizzle each serving with some of the balsamic vinegar (a little goes a long way, so you definitely won't use all of it)


Anonymous said...

This looks amazing. Cannot wait to try it :) x

Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese? said...

This looks incredible! Can't wait to try it.

Emily @ She Makes and Bakes said...

That looks so good. I love everything about it. Definitely on my list of things to try!

Bryan and YiRan said...

Strawberries in a caprese salad? You're crazy! In a good way.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This is such a pretty salad! Love this!

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely delicious :) Strawberries get me in the mood for warm weather and summer--can't wait!

Joanne said...

I absolutely can't get enough of the strawberry balsamic combo...I made a salad that combined the two with basil last year...SO GOOD. Now I'm SO going to have to throw tomatoes into the mix!

(PS - I also posted a strawberry balsamic shortcake a few years ago from Bon Appetit that was TO DIE FOR if you're looking for a strawberry-balsamic dessert!)

Kelsey said...

I love this idea. I'm not usually a big strawberry fan, but I'm all about them this year. We've got to try this!

Daily Deals said...

Love the flavor combination for these recipe.

ErinsFoodFiles said...

Normally I would say "What a weird combo of flavors!" but I had this exact thing on a skewer for East Nashville's Tomato Art Festival last year, and it was surprisingly delicious paired together.

WeLoveChicken said...

Wow! It looks so beautiful, colorful.I usually combine mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, olive oil and balsamic. But with strawberries I've never tried. It's very innovative - I love the idea. I can't wait to try.

gwen said...

I made this salad several weeks ago with less-than-stellar tomatoes, and I loved it nonetheless! The recipe's definitely a keeper. Can't wait to try it with tomatoes that are actually ripe — it'll be downright amazing. :)

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