We’re Cooking: My How OUR Garden Grows Caprese

Finally…finally…we have tomatoes!!!
We planted a big barrel of grape tomatoes and what our garden expert called “easy patio tomatoes” what seems like forever ago (maybe 2 months ago) and for the past two months Gary has pampered this pot with tender loving care, giving it special tomato food, watering it gently, staking the vine when a few were hurt during the storms a few weeks ago.  He has handled these plants with true tender loving care, as he has all of our yard.  Today we finally have picked and just tasted our first tomatoes of the season.  We have many more that are growing fast and changing from their subtle green color to golden to red, but we finally had our first bite.

There are very few things as tasty as a home grown tomato just out of the garden with a little sea salt and a crack of fresh pepper.  To our great relief they are moist and juicy, not mealy at all…I hate mealy tomatoes….and so good.  All of the pampering has paid off beautifully.  In honor of Gary’s tomatoes I made him his favorite salad with them  – a beautiful Caprese with basil from the garden as well.  (I did have to use a few store bought tomatoes to round out the plate….but in a few more weeks we will make it with only ours.)  Cheers!


Fresh mozzarella and Garden Basil and Tomato Caprese
1 – 6 oz ball of fresh mozzarella  sliced into 1/2 inch slices
3 vine ripe tomatoes – sliced into 1/2 inch slices
6 large basil leaves, chopped in half
1 1/2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

The Caprese salad is one of the easiest in the world to make.  If you can layer on a diagonal you can make this salad.  I like to season my tomatoes before I layer to make sure they have lots of good flavor, so lay all the tomatoes out on your cutting board and sprinkle lightly with a bit of salt and pepper.  Then, on your platter simply begin layering a tomato slice, then a mozzarella slice, then a piece of basil, then another tomato, mozzarella, basil, tomato, etc.  Layer each piece on a diagonal almost so it slides or fans out on your plate.  When all the slices are layered sprinkle a bit more pepper over everything and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic.  You could also top with a bit of fresh pesto if desired.  Serve.


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