Farmer's Market Day!
Do you have a special farmer's market that you like? We seem to have several areas around here that setup farmer's markets on a weekly basis. One of my favorites is the one in Encino, Ca, but I hear that there is a killer one over in Calabasas. On my to do list of places to go!
We are lucky to have a large variety of vendors from as local as Oxnard, Ca to all the way from Redlands up north. They bring such wonderful produce. Organic and not. I even spied a fresh herb vendor selling a variety of plants you don't normally see. Chocolate oregano? YUM!
So today I happened upon some wonderful organic arugula. I love the spicy, peppery flavor don't you?
At the next booth I found the most gorgeous little cherry tomatoes. They are almost all gone for the season, but I managed to get some great, sweet ones, and scooped up the last of some heirloom tomatoes while I was at it. It's been a nice tomato season around here, and I'm gonna miss it.
So I decided to make a wonderful fresh salad with my bounty.
Off for home I go!
This is a Caprese Salad with a Basil Puree. Simple to make, with a little extra special touch with the basil puree. The basil puree is basically fresh basil and olive oil pureed together to make a tasty drizzle that you use over the salad to enhance the flavors. It is a wonderful thing to have on hand. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, and later add it to soups, sauces, and salad dressings. You can drizzle it over grilled meat and vegetables for added flavor as well. How smart is that!
This is definitely a Fast & Fresh recipe!
Caprese Salad must have 3 ingredients...tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. This salad varies dramatically with the use of the ingredients but I think you will find this a simple but rather tasty take on the traditional version.
So no step by steps needed on this one. The recipe for the salad and the basil puree are below. Here are some pics to drool over.
Caprese Salad with a Basil Puree
1 1/2 c. arugula, washed
8 whole cherry tomatoes
6 bocconcini - tiny mozzarella balls
2 T basil puree (see recipe below)
3 T balsamic vinaigrette
Wash and dry your arugula. Place it on your serving plate. Place the cherry tomatoes and the mozzarella balls around the salad. Drizzle the basil puree over the salad. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy with some toasty crostini.
1 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 c olive oil
Process basil leaves and olive oil in a food processor or blender until basil is finely chopped. Use immediately.
To freeze: spoon mixture into ice-cube trays, and freeze. Store frozen cubes in freezer bags up to 6 months.