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Today was an emergency.
The snow encroached our steps. The clouds remained cool and gray. The icicles dripped incessantly on our back deck.
The chilled air briskly made its way through our tightly bound scarves and into our mittens.
I needed warmth. Summer. Sunshine. Vitamin D. Something. Anything that would remind me that summertime would again show its face.
So, we made our way to downtown Overland Park. A place I love to frequent once the weather turns bright again and where the hustle & bustle of our farmer’s market is alive. Also, home of my favorite stores – Penzey’s Spices – a wonderful spice merchant that has all kinds of delicious varieties of cinnamons, salts, seasonings, and much more.
While walking around the market we also had our first experience (how did I now know about this until now??) with a store called the Tasteful Olive. Aged balsamic vinegars. Cranberry Orange Olive Oil. Rich, robust Extra Virgin Olive Oils ranging from Greek to Chile varieties. Oh my!
So, to feed my hunger for summer, I decided to pick up a robust, flavorful olive oil & aged balsamic vinegar and make my absolute favorite summertime treat…Caprese Salad. Juicy vine-ripened tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. My head is still spinning after eating this Caprese Salad with all of the fresh ingredients and really, really good oil & vinegar.
I have to admit…this is one of those meals that make me actually make hand motions and exclamations. I love the balsamic vinegar to give it an extra punch of flavor and I could go on and on about the fresh basil and vine-ripened tomatoes. Yum!
- 3-4 Vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced into 1/4″ slices
- 1 Pound Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into 1/4″ slices
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, washed and patted dry, sliced into small strips
- Good Variety of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling
- Optional: Coarse Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper to taste
- On a large platter or plate, layer mozzarella with tomatoes alternating, adding basil in between each.
- Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar evenly and add optional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.