I woke up with a craving for tomatoes. I think I may have been living with a low-level sickness for the last few days and maybe I just needed some healthy fuel. (Yesterday, I ate a combo of popcorn, coffee, and muffins – not good.) The craving was strong enough that I walked my butt down to the grocery store and bought the ingredients for a Caprese salad. Caprese salad is one of my favorite foods. It simultaneously reminds me of living in Kansas City and my trip to Italy. When Travis and I were newly married and in KC we used to eat at Panera Bread a lot and I would order their Tomato & Mozzarella salad nearly every time. I haven’t lived near a Panera in a long time, but I don’t think they sell the salad any more. boo. When I went to Italy two years ago, I ordered Caprese salad every chance I could. It was so good. Perfect, actually.
I am not anything resembling a chef, but here is the impromptu recipe for my Caprese salad: Take some slightly stale bread (we had some rosemary bread that was a few days old) and tear or cut it into bite-size pieces. Lay it out on your plate as a base. Cut two, three, or four small-to-medium tomatoes it bite-size wedges. Arrange them on the bread. Cut up some fresh mozzarella cheese – the kind that is packed in water – and arrange it on top of the tomatoes. Tear or cut some fresh basil to sprinkle over the dish. (I probably added too much basil, but I hate to buy the whole package and then only use a little!) Drizzle with olive oil and a generous amount of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Done! Eat!