Mixed Up Caprese Salad
With the summer crop of tomatoes just beginning to come in, now is the perfect time to make a caprese salad. Although the salad I offer here does include the colors of the Italian flag, I've altered my version of the salad beyond the usual simple arrangement of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. I like to combine the ingredients with a balsamic vinaigrette and refrigerate the mixture before scattering it atop salad greens. The balsamic vinaigrette has a chance to flavor the ingredients that way, although it does turn the mozzarella pieces a bit dark. I can live with that for more flavor.
Mixed Up Caprese Salad -- Serves 4+
2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 pint of red cherry tomatoes
1 pint of yellow/orange cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of chopped green onions
1/2 cup of fresh mozzarella pearls, halved, or 2-3 ounces of fresh mozzarella
chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup of basil leaves, chopped or snipped into ribbons with scissors
Salad greens (optional)
In a large salad bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, lemon pepper, and mustard until well blended. Stir in the tomatoes, green onions, mozzarella, and basil gently until everything is well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes before serving it "as is" or atop salad greens.