Bring on the Spring Salad

It’s freaking freezing outside.  Literally.  It’s like fifteen degrees outside.  That’s not at all normal for my usually temperate state.  The schools were closed before the first snowflake even hit the ground, which is funny to me. 

Anyway, I’m ready for spring.  I know winter barely started, but I have been thinking about all the great things to eat in the spring and summer time.  When I saw this quick and simple salad full of summer-y things, I had to try it out.  Like those Vikings (or whoever they were) lighting candles and sticking them on trees to bring back the sun, this was my hurry up summer offering.

Pasta Caprese Salad

  • 1 pound tubular pasta (like penne)
  • 3 of the best tomatoes you can possibly find – seriously, pull out all the stops and get the best you can (in a pinch, a pint of grape tomatoes will do, just halve them)
  • 1/2 pound of fresh mozzarella (Belgioso is a brand that has worked pretty well for me)
  • Large bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped fine (don’t fear the shallot.  it’s just a small mild onion, trust me)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • About a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Put on your water to boil for the pasta.  (Remember to salt the water after it comes to a boil)  Chop your mozzarella into bite sized pieces and then put them in a single layer on a plate and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, shallots, garlic, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper and about a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Then, chop the tomatoes into bite sized pieces, and add to dressing.  Let the tomatoes marinate while the pasta finishes cooking.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the tomato/dressing mixture.  Add the basil and chilled mozzarella pieces and toss until combined.  Taste it and adjust seasonings as needed.  Serve warm.

1 Comment

  1. mary says:

    Oh, yum! I can’t wait to try this.