Saturday, July 26, 2008

Caprese Salad

Last night we went out with a few friends to Il Capretto D'Oro, the Golden Goat, in Woodinville. I never make it over to the Eastside--seems like yuppy country to me--but of course I'll get over there for good food, or possibly a shopping spree at Bellevue Square. I was raised mostly on Mercer Island and lived in Bellevue and Redmond at points in my life, but I definitely prefer the city and living in Seattle to being on the Eastside. I'm such an urban girl at heart. The restaurant was very authentic and wonderful and I told Lee we needed to go back just to take a tour of all the little wineries around there, so I guess I will be back to the place I never go. I had no idea we had our own Napa just half hour from our house!

One of the many things I've already done today was make yet another version of caprese salad. It's on every menu in America and has become so mainstream- it can be terrible and it can be the best tasting thing summer has to offer. I'm always experimenting with different ways to do it since I like it so much and recently found a way to have it in the winter months (AKA : October through June if you live up here in the Northwest). Lee got me the Molto Mario cookbook by Mario Batali and it's got a great way to fix this salad so that it still tastes good despite the main ingredients being out of season. It basically roasts the tomatoes for a couple of hours so their sweetness comes out and uses pesto that was made and frozen in the summer, so all is fresh and yummy. The version I made today was with red and yellow organic grape tomatoes, basil from the Phinney Market and buffalo mozzerella. The difference this time was that I marinated and salted the tomatoes for a few hours before adding the rest of the ingredients in order to get some of the moisture out of the tomatoes--I let it sit in a colander in the sink and they drained. Then right before serving I tossed the drained tomatoes with the basil, mozzerella, olive oil, balsamic and pepper (no extra salt needed) and it was a much better salad to bring to a party or BBQ (which I did). It still had a dressing of sorts due to the olive oil and vinegar, but it was much less 'soupy' overall and tasted great. It was also good for all those people that don't like tomato innards--that juicy, seedy stuff that sometimes makes people not like the wonderful tomato.

Lee and I are headed for a long evening of crazy with drinking and the Nine Inch Nails concert, should be a good time.

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