I am working on a budget this month, because I am saving up to do a little “research” for my blog in Los Angeles next month. I need to take part in the wildly, amazing culinary treasures in this bustling, exciting city where everyone is striving to make their dreams a reality. As always, I enjoy entertaining close friends and I love to try new recipes on them. A caprese salad is hardly a new recipe…but the exciting part is that you can try different variations of it. One of my recipes on here had a little steak with it. This is a vegetarian option with a fun, fruity twist.
This amazingly little salad doesn’t bust my budget and the flavors are robust and it is also…as I am described in life…colorful! In order to achieve full color, I use multicolored tomatoes and half them. The mozzarella is just white, so I love to cube it, add my favorite vinaigrette and mix in chopped, fresh basil, which sticks to the white cheese adding that gorgeous emerald green to the milky white, soft cheese…adding the sweet flavor, as well as being so beautifully appealing to see.
Now…onto my favorite little twist. Of course I went for the red onion. I sliced it…even so thinly…on my mandolin…into a glass bowl and submerged it in raspberry vinaigrette..with dashes of salt and pepper…then poured in the olive oil. I let it marinate and soak in. I toss it up every once in while…but then I let the magic begin. Once it resembles strands of dark red.. I drain it…then add some brown sugar and work it through the onions. The brown sweetness just absorbs right into the onions and takes on a sweetness and takes some of the bite out of the onion and lessens the harshness of the vinegar. It’s a beautifully, loving marriage that makes this resemble savory candy. You will thank me later!
Simple Caprese w/an Onion Twist
20 multicolored cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
3 oz fresh mozzarella (cubed)
1/2 cup fresh basil (ribbon cut)
1/2 large red onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp vinaigrette dressing
Half cut the cherry tomatoes and set aside.
Cube the mozzarella and ribbon cut the basil and combine in a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp of your favorite vinaigrette dressing. Toss together until all of the basil sticks to the mozzarella cubes.
Slice the red onion thinly, and use a mandolin for best results. Place in a bowl with the raspberry vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and allow it to marinate. Marinate it until the rings are red and flexible. Toss a few times and let it sit before you fully drain it. Place it in paper towels and squeeze it to drain the remaining liquid. Place in the bowl and add the brown sugar. Mix it through thoroughly with your hands to make sure the sugar absorbs into all of the onions.
On a serving platter, lay the tomatoes on the left side, in the middle, place the basil coated mozzarella and on the end, place the marinated red onions. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette dressing on top of the salad and serve! Enjoy!!