I’ve been tossing out lots of fall-themed dishes lately, but that’s only because I’m so excited for it, not because it’s not still summer. It’s early September and I’m practically wearing a pumpkin on my head already. Calm down, me.
I’m celebrating a last hurrah of summer veggies with a clean-eating salad of heirloom cherry tomatoes, artichokes, fresh beets (yum), mozzarella, and a quick and super easy vinaigrette.
I make salads like these a lot, sometimes with different cheeses, Italian meats, nuts and seeds, and sometimes pasta if I’m serving a carb-loving crowd. In fact, I ended up adding some cubed salami to this one in leftover form. No matter what I end up throwing in, no matter the quantities, it always ends up tasting good. It has to be the most forgiving type of salad ever.
Plus, any recipe that gets better with age in the refrigerator is my friend. I have this pet peeve about cooking in front of guests. I’d much rather be socializing with the host instead of losing them to the kitchen for hours. So anything I can make ahead of time rocks.
The basil on the left is a remnant of the last life of my big basil plant. It’s on its last legs. Boo.
I probably ended up going a little crazy with Italian seasoning, too. I kind of love it and it’s not too harsh to use in slightly larger quantities. This was NOT the case when I recently worked with a little too much sage, though. Lots of Italian seasoning? Yes. One millionth of a teaspoon too much sage? Ruined. That particular recipe needs major work before it will hit the blog.
Let’s see what’s happening in this easy caprese salad:
- 12 oz Ciliegine mozzarella (cherry size)
- 12 oz heirloom cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced or whole
- 5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 5 oz fresh beets, steamed and diced
- Handful fresh basil, hand-torn
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 oz balsamic vinegar
- 1 oz extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Mix together all ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients for salad and toss with salt, pepper, and vinaigrette. It gets tastier as it sets up in the refrigerator, so feel free to make ahead and set aside for awhile before serving.
I’m going to look at this backyard photo in a couple of months and mourn the green. But for now, on to fall! See how my fall dishes are shaping up here.