Minimal Monday: Caprese Salad and taking one last bite out of summer

I’m snipping off the remaining leaves from my basil plant and fixing to make a big plate of Caprese salad. The piles of tomatoes and peaches are dwindling in the stores and markets, making room for the next round of produce superstars.   I’m excited to move on, but I just want one more taste of this salad.  I probably didn’t make it as many times as I should have.  But that’s always the way.

No matter where you live, you can still make this salad all year long, but we all know that it just isn’t the same.  The fresh mozzerella and the basil, maybe, but not the tomatoes.

Colorful heirloom tomatoes add a nice new dimension to the classic red white and green salad.

Even though a traditional Caprese doesn’t include vinegar, I’ve discovered some wonderful fruit vinegars lately and I think they add that last perfect touch.  I bought a French mango vinegar at Whole Foods, and found some incredible artisan made strawberry vinegar at the farmer’s market on Sunday.

These vinegars aren’t just infused with the fruit flavor, they are blended with a little of the pulp as well, which gives them wonderful fresh fruitiness and a little thicker consistency.  But they aren’t as sharp and dominant as some other vinegars, like balsamic.  I’m finding lots of uses for them and I’m excited to try making some myself this fall. (Stay tuned)  Along with some good olive oil, and a shower of fresh pepper, it’s all the seasoning you need.

And don’t feel boxed in by the stacking method, just chop everything up and toss it together for an equally delicious fond farewell to summer.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Debby Foodiewife
    September 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I don’t even want to think about the end of summer tomatoes. Our plants are beginning to peter out. Such a sad, sad, time. This looks beautiful, and a beautiful tribute to summer.

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I love the way that the different colored heirloom tomatoes brightened up this already colorful dish! The fruity vinaigrettes sound fantastic.

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    September 11, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Gorgeous! I was so excited about fall but you’ve made me want to turn the clock backwards! Love everything about this salad. I agree with you about the vinegars, whenever I visit a new place I always check the markets for fun, interesting vinegars!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    September 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Sue, your photos are just gorgeous! what a beautiful and delicious salad
    Mary x

  • Reply
    Pierce
    September 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I like the Minimal Monday post. I could probably have more to contribute on a minimal theme as opposed to meatless theme :-)
    Never heard of a mango vinegar but it sounds exotically tasty.
    You take some fabulous photos!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    September 11, 2012 at 1:20 am

    I will be so sad when my tomatoes stop ripening – which will be very soon, I’m sure. We had a Caprese for dinner tonight.

    By the way, I posted about your oven-dried cherry tomatoes last week! They were wonderful.

  • Reply
    l o v e l y t h i n g s
    September 11, 2012 at 1:08 am

    a caprese salad has never looked so beautiful! I love it both ways, stacked or chopped, either way, you can’t go wrong with those vinegars. Gorgeous photos…I always say that, but I can’t help myself.

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    September 11, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Those colors are to die for. Now you have me craving this for dinner…

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    September 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I’m loving the sound of that mango vinegar. I’m hoping my Whole Foods carries it. Beautiful photos. I love Caprese Salad and you’ve reminded me that I’ve not made it at all during this tomato season.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    September 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I’m staying tuned! Can’t wait for more experiments with the fruit infused vinegar. Lovely Caprese salad. Hang on to that last little bit of summer.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    September 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I love love a good caprese salad – and have been milking the last bits of tomatoes, too. I love year round but summer tomatoes are special!

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