I dunno about you, but so much of my cooking decisions are based on my mood. And so much of my mood is based on weather. This week it’s been hot and sunny and I am totally craving big, fresh and crunchy Summer salads. And this recipe is one of my favorites. There’s just something about a great Caprese salad in Summer. I’m pretty sure Caprese is the unofficial salad of Summer. But as someone who only eats tomatoes when they’re in season, my window of Caprese eating is pretty small. Which is why when I stumbled across this recipe from The Forest Feast it felt like a revelation. Use strawberries instead of tomatoes?! Why didn’t I think of that?! And I’ll be honest, I might like the strawberry version even better! Somewhere my Italian ancestors are rolling in their graves.
This salad is a really interesting riff on the traditional Caprese. It’s bulked up a bit more with pecans, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar adds a little tang to the sweet strawberries. Otherwise everything else is the same: fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil. The result is a wonderfully balanced salad with the sweet strawberries, tangy balsamic, crunchy pecans, and creamy mozzarella. Plus it’s a breeze to throw together and makes for perfect picnic or barbecue fare. i.e. it can sit for hours and still be good. I’ll add that because this is such a simple salad, try to use high quality ingredients, it will make a difference. But if you don’t have them, use what you got! It’ll still be delicious.
- 2 pounds of strawberries, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 cup Mozzarella balls or torn chunks
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 handful of torn basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Combine strawberries, mozzarella and pecans.
- Sprinkle basil over the top of the salad.
- Drizzle oil and vinegar on top.
- Season with salt and pepper.