April 21, 2016
Pumped Up Caprese Salad ♥ Limpin' Along for Lunch - The Recipe ReDux Challenge April 2016
There are only a few dishes that I make the same way, every time I put them on the menu.
This salad is one of them.
As soon as the tomatoes have give when gently pressed, I snag a few, along with a ball of fresh mozzarella, a jar of good quality roasted peppers, Kalamata olives and prosciutto, which makes what I will eat for lunch from May to October.
It packs and keeps well for transporting to work or for a picnic and pot luck. No way this salad ever gets boring.
Some days I will throw in thin shavings of salami (instead of the prosciutto), a good quality provolone (instead of the mozza) but the dressing is always the same.
Homemade fig balsamic vinegar glaze and the best extra-virgin olive oil I can afford.
I know you can buy bottled balsamic glazes for about $10, but you get around 4oz.
I can make 10oz for half that price and it tastes better than anything off the shelf.
Not just for salads, it makes a great glaze for meats (chicken and pork), a wonderful drizzle for grilled vegetables and perfect for a cheese platter. Takes about 30 minutes of your time and all the ingredients can be purchased at local supermarkets.
Let's get cooking....
Fig Balsamic Glaze
* 1 large bottle basic balsamic vinegar
* 6 dried figs (any kind)
* 1 star anise
* 5 whole cloves
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 2 bay leafs
* 7-8 whole peppercorns
1 squeeze bottle
1. Place all the ingredients into a non-reactive sauce pan and simmer until the vinegar is about as thick as maple syrup, about 30-35 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and cool. Strain the vinegar, reserve the figs and add them and the vinegar to a blender and puree until smooth. Press the liquid through a sieve using a spoon until all that remains is the pulp from the figs.
3. Pour the vinegar into a squeeze bottle and place it in your pantry.
Does not require any refrigeration and will not crystallize.