While out & about finishing up the last of my Christmas shopping I ran into my fave “food” store Whole Foods. As I walked in I was instantly drawn to the most amazing looking cherry tomatoes I think I may have ever seen. The brightest most vivid red tomatoes. These lovelies were quick to catch my attention and just as quick to get into my shopping cart. I was running ideas in my mind as to what exactly I would use these tomatoes for. I didn’t want to roast them (only because I already had some in the fridge), didn’t want to put them on a veggie tray (to boring) I wanted to put the focus on the tomatoes… CAPRESE! By the way how perfect are the red, green & white ingredients for a Christmas salad? I used mozzarella pearls which are just bite sized pieces of fresh mozzarella and added in some fresh basil.
I decided for the dressing I was going to make a balsamic maple reduction. I LOVE balsamic reduction. Its thick, it’s sweet and tart at the same time. I added the maple syrup for a little smoky depth and a for a little added sweetness (no not that cheap pancake “syrup” but good quality pure maple syrup). It tasted so fresh, so light and so darn delicious. It’s surprising how a few simple ingredients can make such a wonderful and flavorful dish.
CAPRESE SALAD WITH BALSAMIC MAPLE REDUCTION ( aprox 4 servings)
For the salad:
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of fresh basil, very thinly sliced
8oz of fresh mozzarella pearls (or fresh mozzarella diced into bite sized pieces
For the balsamic maple reduction:
1/4 cup of aged balsamic vinegar – aged a minimum of 7 years. It will taste out of this world compared to the $3 bottle. Just sayin
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
Add the halved tomatoes and mozzarella to a bowl.
In a sauce pot over medium low heat add the balsamic vinegar & the maple syrup. Cook for 3-5 minutes until bubbly and thick. Once it’s reduced it should be able to coat the back of a spoon. Once the balsamic is done allow to cool.
Before serving add in the fresh basil and drizzle the reduction over the salad.