Tis the season for fresh basil! If you remember me from my last post here, my family loves to garden and one of the great joys of gardening is not having to pay an arm and a leg for fresh herbs. So, since our basil is really starting to take off, I'm sharing a recipe that showcases it.
I'm sure you've had caprese salad before but have you ever made it? If not, it's a super easy, fast little snack or appetizer that's sure to please. If you have made it before, you may enjoy my take on this classic.
The secret's in the dressing I add to the fresh basil and tomatoes: my balsamic vinaigrette. I recently shared my recipe on my blog but I'll share it here too. You don't need much for the caprese salad so what you don't use now you can save and use as dressing later.
Here's what you need:
- 1 loaf of french bread or other crusty bread, sliced
- 1 - 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 4-5 roma tomatoes, diced
- handful of fresh basil, sliced into thin strips
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe (just put it all in a jar and shake it up):
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- about 1 tablespoon herbs, I like a combo of oregano and basil
- salt and pepper
In a small bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinaigrette and let sit.
Then, fill a baking sheet with the bread slices in a single layer at 350 degrees until golden on top. Flip the bread over and top each one with a slice of cheese and bake about 5 more minutes until the cheese is nice and melted.
Then top your melted cheese with your tomato-basil mixture. Don't be afraid to pile it on there, you'll thank me later.
Pop it back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes until warm throughout. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Mmm. Tastes like summer.