Did someone say heat wave? Can I get a witness sweatband?
Look, it's too hot to cook, but the good thing is, there's plenty of ripe fruit and veggies to gorge on. Take a simple caprese salad, for instance: tomatoes, basil, mozz, vinegar, and oil. I love it, you love it, we've all eaten plenty of them. But don't think a caprese has to stop there: use fruit, like peaches, nectarines, and avocados. Use other vegetables, like roasted eggplant, squash, and cukes. The caprese salad is one of the best Italian inventions ever, and I'm not going to let the traditional recipe stop me from going ca-ra-zay with it.
This recipe is so simple, I'm gonna lay it out for you in pics. These amounts will serve 2 non-gluttonous adults a light salad or appetizer, or 1 very sweaty girl a light lunch:
Get a nice, ripe peach and a plum. Any kind of plum will do; I got a black one. Cut 4 or 5 slices of each fruit--you'll still have 3/4 of the fruit left. Get a little basil and tear off a few big leaves and a few tiny ones.
Get 4 slices of fresh mozzarella--this is about half of an 8-ounce ball. Cut the slices in half to make half-circles.
Arrange the peach, plum, and mozzarella slices in some sort of overlapping, alternating fashion. Or just plop them all on a plate. Tuck some basil leaves in and around, and scatter smaller leaves over the top.
Now, make the simplest dressing known to humankind: a couple tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a good pinch of salt, and a few twists of the pepper grinder. Stir really fast with a fork until it sort of blends together.
That's it. Serve it like this, with the dressing on the side, or drizzle the dressing around the edge of the plate. You can pour it over the top as well, but I think it looks a lot prettier around the edge. Plus your mozz will get stained brown if you pour it on the top, and that's just sad.
Warning: whoever you serve this to will devour it in seconds. This is a fact.
You might want to make more.
stone fruit caprese
- 4 slices of ripe peach
- 4 slices of ripe black plum
- 4 slices of fresh mozarella, cut crosswise into half-circles
- 6 basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- a pinch of salt, about 1/4 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Layer the peach, plum, and cheese in alternating slices on a plate or platter. Tuck basil leaves in and around.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Drizzle dressing around the edge of the platter and serve.
Serves 1 to 2, very lightly.