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Caprese, So Easy!

Fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, herbs and olive oil, tastes and smells just like summer!

 

It’s mid-May and Michigan is just gorgeous! Sunny weekend coming up with temps in the 70’s and 80’s, I feel so fortunate! We had an early spring that stayed moderate, with enough moisture, which should be good for all the growing things. Especially gardens… I get so excited for the vegetable garden to start producing, and I am especially looking forward to the tomatoes and basil!

While none of this is from my chunk of land (yet!) it still smells and tastes like summer, and is a delicious and easy side dish that goes well with all sorts of lighter meals.This recipe serves 3, but you can tweak it for more or less, this is just a guideline. The herb paste I used was refrigerated and in a tube; it was a combination of basil, parsley and oregano. (If you have fresh basil, layer the basil leaves in between the tomato and cheese, and drizzle with olive oil.) Cilantro would also yield a very fresh flavor maybe with a squeeze of lime, for a different spin. Mmmmmm, love fresh herbs!

Insalata Caprese (“Capri style salad“) is a very simple salad which is said to come from the Campagnia region of Italy. Ideally, every ingredient would be local and freshly harvested, but if you have good quality ingredients, it will still be delicious!

Layer in 3 individual dishes:

  • 9 fresh tomato slices (about 2 tomatoes)
  • 6 slices of fresh mozzarella (8 oz)
  • 2TB herb paste (made fresh or purchased)
    mixed with: 2TB good olive oil to make a pesto
  • 2TB pine nuts (optional)
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction (optional, I did not use it this time)

 

 

 

 

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Napa Boats with Crab (Gluten Free)

We LOVE napa cabbage, and use it almost every day at our house as a salad ingredient, but also as a substitute for bread, wraps and taco shells. It works wonders whether it’s raw or very slightly steamed (which gives it a little more pliability.) You will surely see more recipes featuring napa in future postings. Here, the medium-sized inside leaves were used to make a wonderful raw veggie based snack that was both refreshing and filling! It’s wonderful as it is, but as you can imagine, this is an easy recipe to tweak to your needs or ingredients on hand.

Napa Boats with Crab

Each napa leaf base was layered from the bottom up with:

  • fresh mozzarella
  • avocado
  • spinach
  • crab meat (from claws, refrigerated in a pouch)
  • cucumber slices
  • a squeeze of fresh lime
  • drizzle of coconut oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
 

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