Thursday, August 23, 2012

Caprese Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Back to school already?? But it's not even Labor Day yet!!!  Kids these days get screwed.  First they have to trick-or-treat during the daytime, probably supervised by their parental units, which pretty much wipes out any chance of fun pranks or general hijinks.  And now the school year starts before the annual end-of-summer Holiday?  That sucks.  Every summer goes by quick, but now they're getting even shorter.  Were you that kid that looked forward to going back to school?  Nerd. 

We discussed recently about how you should be eating all the fresh, local tomatoes you can find right about now, and conversely why eating tomatoes in winter is stupid.  It's August, there's no way you could tire of eating BLT's with those ripe beefsteaks that are weighing down your tomato plants.  And the plethora of grape tomatoes find their way into salads nightly, mostly green salads and the occasional octopus salad with fresh chili peppers, olives, and balsamic. 

If you're not growing tomatoes, I'm sure you can easily find them at the farmer's market or a nearby farm stand.

Not an anchovy lover?  This might be recipe to change your mind.  Get the good stuff, a small jar of the little fishies packed in oil, should cost you about five bucks.  Don't cheap out and get the crappy ones in the tin- that's not using quality ingredients.

Really hate anchovies?  Then maybe you should just make this caprese salad instead.  

Caprese Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette
2 servings as large side dish

1/4 C good EVOO
4 anchovy filets, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 lb heirloom tomatoes, grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C cubed mozzarella
handful basil leaves, larger ones torn or chiffonade

Combine the anchovy, garlic, shallot, and red wine vinegar in small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the EVOO to create an emulsion, or toss everything in and zap it with a stick blender or in a normal blender.  Arrange the sliced tomatoes on two plates and season with S&P.  Add as much red onion to your liking, same thing for some cubed mozzarella.  Drizzle the vinaigrette on top, then add the basil leaves.  That tastes like summer, even if summer vacation is over. 

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