Friday, September 18, 2009

Homegrown Heirloom Caprese

Besides berries and sunshine, heirloom tomatoes are my favorite thing about summer. I'm so thrilled that, after 3 years of trying, we finally grew some successfully in our backyard.

Homegrown Heirloom Caprese
Brandywines (my all-time favorite variety, the flavor is heavenly), and giant Striped Germans

I'm a firm believer that, when you have such beautiful, flavorful produce, the best way to serve it is simply. Other than bruschetta and eating them plain like apples, a good caprese salad is my favorite way to prepare summer tomatoes.

Homegrown Heirloom Caprese

I was excited to try making a balsamic reduction to drizzle over the caprese, but the recipe I used didn't achieve the desired effect. It certainly reduced in quantity, but it didn't produce the syrupy texture I was hoping for. Will definitely keep trying, though. Anyone have tips for a successful reduction? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Caprese Salad
Printable Recipe

Arrange sliced tomatoes, basil leaves, and fresh buffalo mozzarella on salad plates. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (I skip the pepper, I'm not a fan. Heresy, I know). Enjoy while you can still get these beautiful summer tomatoes (unless you're in the Southern hemisphere... happy end of winter to you!).

10 comments:

Anne K. in L.A. said...

I agree that fine ingredients should be grown simply. Congratulations on growing such lovely tomatoes.

P.S. your food photos are mouthwatering.

(wife.) said...

I think you should post the pics of the striped tomatoes with a little ruler to show how massive they were.

Maggie said...

I have no patience for folks who scoff at caprese love on food blogs. Who cares if it's a simple dish - that is the entire point! A simple, delicious dish celebrating everything that summer is about. Thanks for giving me cause to celebrate during the tail end of caprese season!

Joelen said...

So jealous of your home grown tomatoes! They look gorgeous!

Megan said...

You grew those?! They look amazing! As does that salad. Love caprese salads!

Anne said...

Ohh, this is good. The haters can shove it--insalata caprese is one of my favorite summer foods. Even better (in taste and satisfaction) when you've grown the produce yourself! I got a gorgeous heirloom tomato in my box yesterday, and this might be its destiny.

As for the balsamic reduction, starting with an older vinegar might help, because they're more syrupy in the first place. With the young ones, you might have to reduce it a LOT to get the desired viscosity.

andi said...

You have a magical way with the camera! I can almost taste the richness of the tomatoes and smell the gorgeous basil, just by looking at your photo!!! Keep up the great work (or, shall i say, pleasure?!) of your hobby!

Amy I. said...

@Maggie @Anne I had no idea there were caprese haters out there! That makes me sad. Glad we're on the same page though :)

Gudrun said...

I love caprese salad! Especially with fresh tomatoes. And actually, I have been taking some of the same elements and turning that into bruschetta. And, if I have any leftovers, I chop up the bread and mix it with the tomatoes and have panzanella. So lovely!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Congrats Amy...what joy growing such stunning home produce. I love them, and I love the Caprese you put together. Your photographs are gorgeous!

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