Taking charge

When I am under a lot of stress, I tend to forget to eat until it’s about 8 pm when it dawns on me that I’m famished!  Since that seems to be the current trend, I decided to make some things that could be kept on hand, stored in the fridge for several days and be ready to eat.  My tuna, macaroni and etc. salad is always a perfect standby but during the summer, I like to take advantage of some of the fresh veggies that are available.

I have a friend who loves, no, LOVES Caprese salad.  It has cut up  bocconcini mozzarella (Trader Joes has these in tubs of water by Mozzarella Fresca), halved cherry tomatoes (preferably heirlooms also from TJ’s), a chiffonade of fresh basil (ditto TJ’s) with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.  I wanted to make that, but didn’t want to buy the whole tub of fresh basil at TJ’s (I prefer to use my basil plant which unfortunately is quite dead).  So I picked up a tub of their Genovese Pesto instead.

I halved the heirloom tomatoes and let drain in a colander.  I drained, then randomly chopped each bocconcini into 3 or 4 pieces each and let them drain on paper towels.  Then tossed them together in a bowl large enough to mix it all together.  Added enough pesto to coat which was about 5/8 – 2/3 of the tub.  Topped it all off with a few grinds of Celtic sea salt.  Mixed all together and let stand covered while I finished the main course, maybe 15 minutes.  Plated it all up and oh my was it GOOD!  It went perfectly with the baby back ribs I made using my own rub.  So good!  It yielded about 2 1/2 cups.

After making this, I googled "tiny mozzarella balls" and found a lot of tips for adding and subtracting assorted ingredients in place of some of the items listed above such as:

·      Marinate the bocconcini in Kosher salt, pepper, crushed garlic clove, 1-2 t. lemon  juice and 2 T. EVOO for about an hour.
      (Note:  EEVO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

·      Add balsamic vinegar or sun-dried tomatoes or pitted Kalmata olives, chopped

·      Add pepper flakes, hot peppers etc. (I don’t like things so spicy so I ignore this)

·      Add roasted sweet red peppers and raw or cooked corn kernels or pine nuts

·      Add cooked crumbled bacon, parsley, Parmesan cheese and mayo

·      Add horseradish and/or Dijon mustard

Frankly, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got but may experiement with pine nuts or roasted red peppers or corn kernels now and then.  You could probably mix it up with chopped thyme, and/or oregano with EVOO.

Author's note, a day later:  you may want to drain the tomatoes a while longer because I found that overnight they’d given off quite a bit of water.  To thwart this, I added another spoon of pesto and a spoon of olive oil, which brought the taste and consistency back up to speed.


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home