July 9, 2013

Garden Update: We've Got Tomatoes & Caprese Salads

So! We've got a lone tomato. It's been a hot summer so far and growth has been a little slower going than we anticipated, but we have been growing tomato plants in containers again this season and as you can see are starting to see the fruits (fruit?) of our labor!

Though it's been a little slow going, we're happy with our lone tomato and even happier that we were able to work it into a fresh salad to share with dinner this week:

Anyone else a big fan of caprese salads? Summer is the best time to make this dish. Tomatoes and basil (two of the star ingredients) are in their prime so the seasonal freshness will just burst through in this salad.

All you need is a fresh tomato, a ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, a couple fresh basil leaves, a quality balsamic vinegar and a pinch or two of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper:

We had all the ingredients on hand — and were able to just snip what we needed of basil from our growing plant out front:

It's been growing so nicely since making cuts for propagation a couple weeks back, and with each new snip, we're able to train it to keep growing fuller and bushier instead of tall and sparse.

There aren't many things like fresh buffalo mozzarella:

Paired with the bursts of acidic flavor in the tomato and balsamic vinegar — now we're getting somewhere:

To make this summer salad, just slice even amounts of tomato and mozzarella:

Alternate each slice across a plate, and sprinkle with cut basil ribbons before dousing lightly with a spoonful of quality balsamic vinegar:

Finish with a pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper:

So simple. So fresh. So perfect for summer afternoons and evenings:

What have your plants been doing now that summer is officially in full swing? Have any favorite summertime recipes you look forward to making when the fruits and vegetables are in the height of their season?

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