Keeping in the sprit of summertime, this is what we had for dinner last night. Pretty isn’t it? It was tasty, too.
I don’t know where we saw this but it was a photo floating out on the internet somewhere. It’s just a photo but it’s not difficult to figure out how to do. Of course, the photo is seriously photoshopped and is the work of some food stylist. Regardless, it made my mouth water. You see, Baby Lady & I love caprese salads. This was a fun take on a caprese salad with the addition of a layer of asparagus. Once I saw the photo I knew I had to make it sometime this summer. Then, last weekend, Baby Lady & I went to the market. There, right in front of us, were these gorgeous, ripe, really BIG, East Texas tomatoes. Once I saw them I immediately knew what I was going to do. Next stop was to find some fresh asparagus and nice buffalo mozzarella. Mission accomplished. So, last night we put it all together with the freshest, homegrown basil. What a tasty salad! It was a wonderfully filling dinner, too. Oh, and simple, simple, simple. Now, if you have kids or a serious carnivore, they will want something more substantial. Given it’s just Baby Lady and me, this was a perfect summer dinnertime salad for us. Regardless, this is a beautiful salad. With a smaller tomato and ball of mozzarella, this is a show stopper appetizer the next time you entertain. Everyone will oooh and ahhhh at just how pretty this dish is and they will love the flavor. It’s also a pretty quick salad to throw together for your lunch to amaze your co-workers with your talents. Regardless of whether you have it as a standalone dinner, an appetizer or lunch, give it a try. This is what we did.
- 1 very large, ripe tomato
- 1 large ball of buffalo mozzarella
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
- balsamic vinegar
- lemon infused olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- micro greens for garnish
As always, first things first. You need to cook the asparagus so get a pot of water, add some salt and place over high heat to bring it to a boil.
To keep the asparagus a colorful green, add a pinch of baking soda to the water.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, prep the asparagus. Start by taking a spear and bend it until it snaps.
The point below where it snaps to the cut end is “woody,” fibrous and tough. Don’t use this part of the asparagus. Use the spear above the snapping point. Now, if you choose, you can snap all of the spears. I don’t. I line up the point of the spear with the remaining spears and simply cut off the bottom, non-useable portion.
When the water comes to a boil, add the asparagus spears.
Cook the asparagus for roughly 2 minutes. You still want it to be firm and somewhat al dente. Remove asparagus from pot and shock in ice water to stop the cooking and chill the asparagus.
Now, slice the tomato. You want slices roughly 1/2 inch thick.
Then, slice the mozzarella. You want it roughly the same size as the tomato slices.
Now, assemble your salad. Begin by placing a tomato slice on a plate and seasoning it with a little sea salt.
Next, add some basil leaves.
Place a slice of mozzarella on top of the basil and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Place another tomato slice on top of the mozzarella, again seasoning with sea salt.
Place asparagus spears on top of tomato slice alternating direction.
Season the asparagus spears with sea salt.
Now, drizzle with a little lemon infused olive oil
Add a slice of mozzarella on top of asparagus spears, season with black pepper and layer more basil leaves.
Top with final slice of tomato.
Season with salt and black pepper then garnish with micro greens.
Drop little drops of balsamic vinegar on serving plate.
Drizzle a little lemon infused olive oil on the plate
Cut the salad stack in half cross-wise against the asparagus spears, place halves on plate and arrange.
I forgot the capers so we had to add them at the table. 😮
Serve & enjoy! 🙂