Monday, June 4, 2012

Meatless Monday: Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

My basil runneth over!  This is just one of our basil plants in our little garden.  We have so much basil we don't know what to do with it.  If you are in need of basil, contact me!

In an effort to not waste any basil, I have been making a lot of Caprese Salads.  And in an effort to not get tired of Caprese Salads, I have been searching the Internet for variations on the traditional Caprese Salad.  I found two so far that I like: Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction from the Pioneer Woman and Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette from the Steamy Kitchen.  Today I will tempt you with some balsamic reduction!  

It adds some sweetness to the taste and it looks pretty too!


2 cups Balsamic Vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
3 whole vine ripened tomatoes, sliced thick
12 ounces, weight Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thick
Fresh basil leaves
Olive Oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt 
Freshly ground black pepper

1.  In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool.

2.  When you're ready to serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter.  Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with ~1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.  Using a pastry brush, spread a small amount of the mixture on each of the tomato and mozzarella slices.

3.  Arrange basil leaves on top of the mozzarella slices.  You can spread some of the mixture on top of the basil leaves if you prefer.  Top with some salt and pepper.

4.  Now, drizzle the balsamic reduction on the basil leaves, making designs if you want.  If you have real talent, you can decorate the plate with the reduction!

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