If you follow The Elliott Homestead on Facebook, you know that we were blessed with some garden tomatoes from one of Stuart's new students this past week. Lawdy, I haven't tasted a fresh tomato for six or seven months now…and man, was it ever delicious.
My absolute favorite way, hands down, to eat fresh tomatoes is by fixin' them up into a caprese salad.
Caprese salads are pretty standard: mozzerella, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, oil, and balsamic vinegar. Wham bam.
But what makes this caprese salad extra special is the sauteed shallots arugula that accompany it. A simple addition that makes a wonder of difference.
So, again, even though it's not really a fancy recipe…as we are now ‘officially' in the summer season, I had to share my all time favorite summer dish.
By the way, even though this is totally off subject, we got our first ultrasound done of the baby yesterday! I am now 17 weeks and even though we could find out the gender…
…we didn't. We decided to be surprised instead! Ahh…the anticipation is so fun!
The wonderful doctor we are seeing down here also reminded me to eat lots and lots of protein and fat. So, needless to say, I've been enjoying a little (or a lot) of extra olive oil and cheese on my caprese salads these days.
Being pregnant rocks.
You will need:
– 4 garden ripe tomatoes
– A large chunk of fresh mozzerella (the best you can find!)
– 4 cups of arugula
– 4-6 large basil leafs (per serving), sliced
– 2 shallots, minced
– 8 tablespoons of high-quality olive oil, divided
– 6-8 tablespoons of high-quality balsamic vinegar
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– Crusty bread, for serving
Step One: Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Then, toss in the minced shallot and saute until nice and tender (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile…
Step Two: Slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Slice the mozzerella the same.
Step Three: In the middle of four plates, divide the arugula up, and lay in the center. Then, alternate tomato and mozzarella slice around the bed of arugula.
Step Four: Finally, sprinkle the sauteed shallot on top of each salad. And then the basil. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and a fresh grind, or two, or three, of pepper. Lastly, drizzle the top of each salad with a few tablespoons of high-quality olive oil (we buy ours from this farm) and high-quality balsamic vinegar (we order this kind).
It is also essential that this salad be served with a giant chunk of french baguette so soak up all the delicious tomato juices and vinegar.
And speaking of delicious ingredients, the Lord has heard my pitiful cries, and has blessed me with a bounty of local blueberries. We were able to find a new section of the blueberry farm that is ripe and ready for picking! Let me tell ya though, girlfriend can only get so much picking down in the heat of the Alabama morning. It's all over by 9:00.
Regardless, I have about 6 pounds (only $1.50 a pound!) at the moment awaiting their winter home in the deep freeze. Hallelujah. And you know me. I'll be headin' back for more in no time. Just typing this makes me want to go and shove my face in that giant bowl and eat those delicious morsels until I pop.
I also picked up a winter supply of jalapenos (for freezing) and banana peppers (for pickling) at the farmers market yesterday. For $6 (literally), I was able to purchase enough to meet my set ‘quota' on each one. So cool!
But…you know me. I'll probably be headin' back for more again next week.
I know. I know. It's a sickness.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.