Thursday, September 19, 2013

Arugula Caprese Salad

Nothing compliments pasta with a crisp salad. Then again, one of my favorite Italian salad is a caprese salad. So in an effort to bring a green salad and the best parts of a caprese salad, I served this Arugula Caprese Salad to accompany our pasta during a recent homemade pasta making class. Colorful yet packed with flavor, shingled fresh mozzarella and vine ripened tomatoes get splashed with a pesto infused oil and balsamic vinegar over a bed of arugula...

This salad is all sorts of deliciousness. I like how the peppery bite of the baby arugula plays off the creamy mozzarella and sweet tomatoes. I've made this salad quite a bit over the summer months and found using balsamic vinegar is great... but if you can find a balsamic glaze or even make a reduction {which is just boiling the balsamic vinegar with sugar until it reduces}, use it. It really adds a nice flavor!

Arugula Caprese Salad
recipe adapted from A Whiff of Spice

1-2 cups fresh baby arugula
1-3 red vine ripe tomatoes, sliced into thick rounds
2 balls fresh mozzarella, sliced into thick rounds

1-2 cup grape tomatoes (I used golden grape tomatoes)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons basil pesto
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

On a large serving platter, place a bed of baby arugula in the center. 

Alternate and shingle the red tomato slices and fresh mozzarella slices in a circular pattern over the arugula.

Scatter the grape tomatoes and basil over the platter.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Just before serving, whisk together the basil pesto and olive oil. Drizzle the mixture over the salad.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.