Caprese Salad

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Now that I’m trying to eat lighter, I’ve been looking for easy, fresh dishes I can throw together on the fly. For an Italian, what’s easier than a fresh Caprese salad? All you need is fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper! Make as much or as little as you need, depending on how many people you’re serving. For┬ájust me, I usually do three slices of tomato and cheese, and three large basil leaves.

If you want to make the dish a little more special, try a drizzle of balsamic reduction on top. You can easily make your own at home, but I warn you, it will SMELL! Close your bedroom doors, open the windows, and light some incense so you don’t choke on the strong vinegar fumes.

Balsamic Reduction
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey

Stir vinegar and honey together in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until mixture has reduced to about 1/3 cup. Remove from heat and set aside.

(*Store leftover balsamic reduction in a tupperware at room temperature. It will be very thick if you over-reduce it, and then you will need to warm it up a little to get it back to it’s liquid form)

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Caprese Salad

Rinse the basil leaves and blot dry with paper towels.

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella to desired thickness.

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Decoratively arrange layers of tomato, mozzarella, and basil on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic reduction. Serve on it’s own or with slices of crusty bread.

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