Insalata caprese ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

23 September 2011

Insalata caprese

Want to see what I ate for lunch yesterday?

insalata capreseYes. It may be the first day of fall, but that really only means one thing: if you want tomatoes, you had better eat them now.

This particular tomato came courtesy of our next-door neighbor, who has now twice given us a big bag of her backyard tomato overflow. I HEART OUR NEW NEIGHBORHOOD. Even when I forget to go to the farmer's market, I get bounty!

Then I transform the bounty into plates like this.

Insalata caprese

good tomato
fresh basil
salt, pepper

This is the easiest possible salad. Cut, plate, and eat.

So. Core your tomato and cut it into reasonable bite-sized wedges, or into your choice of other shape.

Slice up a roughly equivalent amount of mozzarella. Obviously it's best to use fancy fresh mozzarella, but I think this salad works well even with big generic supermarket block mozz, which is good, because that's what I had. I shaved my mozzarella with a cheese plane, because that's how I roll.

Pick a good handful of fresh basil leaves off the stem. Stack them together, roll them into a little cigar shape, and slice finely. Congratulations; you have just made a chiffonade!

Arrange your tomato, mozzarella, and basil prettily on a plate. Pour any incidental cutting board tomato juice over the plate as well. Add a few pinches of salt and grinds of black pepper, and you are done.

insalata capreseEat it all.

Man. Tomatoes.

Incidentally, want to see what my tomato plants look like today?

tomato plantsThis picture is at my eye level. I am 5'11".

There are only three of them, and yet they are somehow 7 feet tall, 7 feet wide, and 7 feet deep. The branches stick out four feet into the lawn. I have run out of sufficiently tall stakes and been forced to lash the remaining pieces together for adequate support. I stuck in an extra tomato cage to corral some of the escaping vines. I HAVE BEEN PRUNING.

tomato plantsThe plants are covered with tomatoes. 95% of the tomatoes are still green. It's a good thing we live in California.


Jes said...

So, you're going to start teleporting lunches to the east coast, right? Your tomato plant is goooorgeous--so big and vibrant with tomato goodness to come!

Veronica said...

Wow. My tomatoes are horribly pathetic by comparison. You know what to do if you get overwhelmed...

Eileen said...

Yes, I definitely know what to do when the tomatoes threaten to overflow my kitchen! :)