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We've been up to our ears in tomatoes this summer. Between the cherry tomatoes we've been growing out on our deck and the abundance that has made its way into our CSA farmshare, I've been looking for easy and delicious ways to use them up before the next batch comes in! Enter the Caprese Salad.
With a newborn in tow, my time in the kitchen has been pretty non-existent. Our neighborhood has a great tradition of setting up a meal train for parents welcoming a new little one though so between our wonderful neighbors and family, we've remained well fed. This blessing; however, has made it awfully difficult to use up all of these tomatoes and other farmshare goodies! So this simple Caprese Salad and other variations of the like have become a staple of our lunch hour.
While your everyday run-of-the-mill Caprese Salad is delicious on its own, I can't help but add salty, cured meat goodness to it as, let's face it, anything in the bacon family makes everything better! Adding a meat also helped make it a little more substantial so it could be a main dish for lunch (or at least a reasonably filling addition to a baked potato).
1 pint (about 2 cups) cherry tomatoes - halved (or any tomatoes you have, roughly chopped - heirloom tomatoes are awesome for this!)
4-6 oz prosciutto mozzarella roll - cubed (or 3 oz cubed mozzarella or mini mozzarella pearls and 3 oz diced prosciutto)
5-6 fresh basil leaves - chiffonade and cut in half
1 T olive oil
1/2 T balsamic vinegar
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.
For a More Filling Version...
Double the tomatoes, prosciutto/mozzarella and basil. Add 12 oz cooked, drained and cooled elbow pasta. In a small bowl, mix 3 T. olive oil, 1 garlic clove - minced, salt, pepper and dried thyme to taste and 1 T balsamic vinegar. Pour mixture over tomato/pasta mixture. Serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.