The last thing I really want when it is hot and humid out is a heavy dinner. I don’t want to cook it and I certainly don’t want to eat it. My husband and I love a beautiful salad with some crusty bread and a lovely rose or crisp white wine. If there is even the slightest breeze, we might just take our dinner outside to our terrace to watch the sun set and those poor devils stuck on the “L” still on their way home. Here is my take on a caprese salad.
There is no real recipe but here’s what goes in it.
On a bed of arugula (I just picked some up at the farmer’s market and I had forgotten how wonderfully peppery good arugula really is!) I slice heirloom tomatoes (there was such wonderful produce at the farmer’s market – who needs to cook?). Before I add anything else, I drizzle some Meyer Lemon infused EVOO (or just good EVOO) on top with a sprinkle of Kosher salt and a few cracks of fresh black pepper). If you have a fruity vinegar (I am currently crazy about fig vinegar that Frances sent me as a gift) or a light Sherry vinegar, drizzle that on top. I then add some thinly sliced Seedless English Cucumber or the little Persian Cucumbers, some black oil-cured or Kalamata olives (any good olive of choice works, but these are particularly good), thinly sliced onions (Vidalia or Red onion are my favorites). I give this a light splash of the EVOO and Vinegar, salt and pepper. I then top it with slices of a good fresh mozzarella (Buffalo if it is in your budget but Bel Gioioso is fine) and lots of fresh basil leaves. I finally got a big plant (yes, at the farmer’s market) since I go through so much basil and the stuff you buy in the packages NEVER lasts. A little more, salt, pepper, EVOO and vinegar. Eat it with your crusty bread and soak up every bit of goodness in the dressing with the sliced, warm bread (oops, I guess you would use your oven here) or just fresh bread (no oven!) Wash it all down with a lovely rose or crispy white. If you are feeling very ambitious, you could slice some melon for dessert. Delicious and no oven was harmed in the preparation!