Thursday, July 2, 2009

My most favorite thing to eat...

...On a warm, sunny, summer day is a caprese salad. I don't know what it is about the combination of baby bocconcini, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes, but their co-mingling together results in pure yumminess. I used to make it with large tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, both thickly sliced and layered with ribbons of basil sprinkled on top. Then one day I just got too lazy to do any chopping, yet I needed to bring something for a dinner. A quick trip to the grocery store and I came back with cherry bocconcini, whole leaves of fresh basil, grape tomatoes, and a container of toothpicks. Voila! Classy and yummy!

Last summer I had gone to a house warming party in Vancouver and the hostess had very innovative ways of serving her edibles. One of the ideas that I took from her was serving the salad in shot glasses. How cute is that idea? A must-do for the next dinner party, for sure. Just not sure if we have that many shot glasses! But if I'm making the salad for just me, well, a shot glass won't be able to hold enough for my appetite!

I love this salad with olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper. But I love and adore it even more when there's some balsamic reduction drizzled over! In the words of Rachel Ray: Yum-O!!!

You seriously have to try it. This version is the best summer-y salad in the world! And trust me, your taste buds will thank me for it! Here's a recipe for my version of a balsamic reduction:

In a small sauce pan, pour double the amount of balsamic vinegar that you'll be needing for your salad. Make sure to use good quality balsamic vinegar here, as you'll be able to taste the difference! Bring the vinegar to a boil and turn down the heat to a simmer. Stir constantly, unless you are using a Teflon coated saucepan. When half of the vinegar has boiled away, remove from heat and add a sprinkle of brown sugar. Allow the reduction to cool. Don't worry if it doesn't look thick, it'll become deliciously syrupy as it cools. You can omit the brown sugar if you want, but I find it adds a little kick.


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