Caprese Salad

Did you know that Caprese salad was created to represent the colors of the Italian flag?  Me either.  Maybe it’s just coincidence.  I’ve seen it referenced a number of times that “Insalata Caprese” or “salad of Capri” for those of us who only eat Italian, was made to represent the colors red, white, and green and thus become a food symbol of Italy.  Two ingredients of this food symbol came freshly picked from my garden.  Oh, summer gardens…how I love thee… There is nothing like a freshly picked tomato from a garden.  And I’ve got to say, that basil is taking off and trying to take over.  I have to keep eating it to keep that plant in check.  I first got introduced to Caprese salad during the flurry of wine bars that popped up about ten years ago.  You know the ones who claimed to have invented bruscetta boards. Everyone would say, “oh! I love the Caprese”.  I didn’t know what it was and just said what I usually say when asked if I’ll share something.  Which is yes.  Of course.  After trying it a few times and then ordering it as a salad I realized it was just simple:  fresh mozzarella, sliced fresh tomato, and fresh basil.  Then top it with some balsamic vinegar and you have a summer delight.  All the fancy magazines say to pair it with a light, crisp white or rose wine.  Even a sparkling wine.  It balances the acidity of the tomatoes.  I like it with a Sangiovese.  I’m a rebel like that.

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Fresh Mozzarella and Pepper Salad

Do you have a garden that is just overflowing with fresh peppers?  I hope so.  The farmers markets are just bursting with these colorful beauties right now.  They are fat, juicy, and crispy.  I bought a whole bunch the other day and then after I brought them home and washed them, remembered that only my daughter and I like them so we came up with this creative little salad that lured in the cheese lovers of the house.  The men in the house love cheese and we even got them to eat some of the delicious peppers thanks to a nice balsamic dressing we drizzled over the top.  

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Pico de Gallo

It’s that time of year when my garden starts overflowing with produce and I’ve got to get creative with how to enjoy it all.  The tomatoes and cilantro and growing like crazy!  Throw in a bit of red onion and some limes from my lime tree and what to you get?  Pico de gallo!  I’m not one for having things too spicy and often salsa is too hot.  So pico de gallo is a perfect flavor combination.  It’s cool and refreshing and perfect to dip some salty tortilla chips in or add as a topping to a casserole.   You can make as much or as little as you need.  My rule of thumb when tossing this together is to have equal parts tomato and cilantro with slightly less red onion.

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Deviled Eggs

I love holidays.  I love the decorating, family time, the meal planning, and all the traditions that go along with it.  As the kids get older they seem less enthused about the decorating and traditions but most of the time they go along with it, if only to humor me.  This year I was pleasantly surprised to have a lovely group of teenage girls who wanted to decorate Easter eggs.  Yay!  It’s so much fun to decorate the eggs.  But what to do with all those eggs once Easter has passed?  Devil them!

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