Monday, April 16, 2012

A simple Caprese Salad compliments a casual Sunday evening on the porch





What a glorious weekend! I hope you enjoyed it as well! The sun shone BRIGHTLY in the sky all weekend long. As a family we took full advantage of it! Saturday was spent walking from our home to the beach and then from one end of that beach to the other and back again. My poor girls were exhausted but I know they enjoyed it.

I must talk about how much I enjoy the sunshine a lot (like maybe a broken record) because every time the sun is shining I will get a text or email saying, "the sunshine always makes me think of you." Sorry if I mention it too often but when you live where I do it's such a TREAT to enjoy day after day of sun!

My FAVORITE, most enjoyable part of the whole weekend was spent on our front porch last night. After a long.... long... run (7 miles), I was exhausted so I spent the afternoon on the porch reading a book while my husband washed the car. A friend of ours walked by with his baby in a stroller and stopped to chat for awhile while all of the neighbor kids walked to the park together. Upon their return I brought out a very casual supper on a large wooden bread board and as a family (dog too) we sat on our front steps and picked away at the snacks and enjoyed the evening glow over the water. I must've said at least TEN times, "now THIS is living! this is how I want to live. THis is why I love sunshine filled days so much!" I was soaking it all in. Right now we are back to grey skies and the rain is coming down but I don't care today because I got to enjoy such a lovely weekend.

I threw this lovely caprese salad together over the weekend and it's so delicious I made it TWICE! Once for lunch on Saturday and then as an addition to our snack tray on Sunday evening. It literally takes FIVE MINUTES to put together and the taste is flavorful enough for any restaurant or deli. There really is no recipe. It's just "a little a.. " A little a this... a little a that... depending on how big or small you want the salad to be. The key is the balsamic vinegar dressing. It MAKES this salad!

For the balsamic vinegar dressing just take maybe a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and place it into a small pot and cook over low heat until reduced. It looks a little like syrupy molasses when it's ready.

While that's warming on the stove take some cherry tomatoes and halve. Then dice your avocado. I buy the mozzarella balls that are preformed in the package and place all 3 of these ingredients (as much or as little as you'd like) into a bowl. Finely chop up a bunch of fresh basil and add some sea salt and pepper to taste. Finally, drizzle your reduced balsamic vinegar dressing over the top and gently toss. Serve immediately!


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14 comments:

  1. Yum. Running to the store to buy what I need to make this, right now. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. gosh that is so cute! it would only be an appetizer for my family tho - LOL. I just love your food pics - great job!!!!

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  3. Anything with avocado is alright with me, not sure if you know this if you sandwich your tomatoes between your cutting board and a lid like the one from your mozzarella balls came in and press your hand on the lid to hold down then take your knife and slice between the lid and board you can cut them all at the same time, this looks amazing as usually.

    Have a great day!

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  4. Lissa thanks a bunch! It is 70 here today...Patriot's Day...Marathon Monday :) We have this week off from school and have been working in the garden all day. My husband just dropped our 13 yr old at his friends house and stopped at the grocery store for your caprese ingredients! I cannot wait! I am going to pour a chilly drink and sit on the deck with my salad. Sounds like today was a lot like your weekend. With the exception of the running. By the way girl, you need to email me with some running advice!

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  5. Love Caprese salad! I will definitely be making this and enjoying outside in the warm weather :)

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  6. OK. Not only are caprese's my favorite - but caprese with avocado are MY TRUE FAVORITE....HOLY BALLS GOOD! :)

    Now - if you were to grill some polenta with some EVOO and put this salad on top - over.the.top. That's what we do 'here. And to make it a little heartier - serve with TJ's sun dried tomato chicken sausage.......DROOL.

    Ok, I think I know what we're having for dinner this week! :) xoxo

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  7. Ummm. I am heading to that side of the State in May to wander Capitol Hill with my baby sis and shop IKEA...but can I also now add to my "To Do" 'Stop By Lissa's and Force aka BEG Her To Make This Salad'?? ha ha Looks DEELISH!! :) Love those warm evenings outside...my Hubby and I sit out front all the time and we always say it is a WHOLE different perspective (in a good way) seeing your neighbhorhood from the front porch!

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  8. Fantabulous! My kind of meals~Cheers Kim

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  9. Yay for sunshine!
    This sounds so good & your photos make it even better. Doing great, Lissa! :)

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  10. Looks delicious! I have tried to make a balsamic reduction before with no luck - can you expand on the temp. you cooked it over and time?
    Thanks!

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  11. Oh that sounds so delish and definitely great when shared with friends.

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  12. Looks scrumptious! I was wondering where you found that bread board - such a nice big size. Also, how long did you reduce the balsamic - I've tried to make reductions before with no luck.

    Thanks so much!

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    1. the bread board is from williams sonoma. We have a specialty store that sells a few antique things. As far as the balsamic vinegar goes I just cooked it in my smallest saucepan at about a 4 for heat. I just warmed it up slowly and took it off the burner before it got to thick. Every little bit I would stir it and watch it. Hope this helps!

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  13. I LOVE this whole post....it looks delicious.

    those are my favorite kind of dinners with my family, too!

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