Caprese Salad

Cherry tomatoes are a fun garden item. We eat them straight off the vine and add them to a variety of salads. Throughout summer our customized version of a caprese salad can often be found on the dinner table. Everyone in the family enjoys this salad and it fits in well with our minimalist-style meals. As fall has quickly come upon us we are eating it just as often, so I am going to share it with you!

The ingredients are simple - mozzarella cheese, cucumber, tomato, basil and sometimes a splash of vinegar. I add cucumber to the more traditional caprese salad because it adds a nice crisp texture and stretches the rest of the ingredients for our four-person family. We've never had luck growing cucumbers in our garden and thus have resigned to purchasing them. The cherry tomatoes and basil, however, have done very well in the heat of our Eastern Washington backyard.

The ReadyStrainer is my favorite tool to gather and rinse batches of tomatoes. When held at an angle it's easy to collect water in the ReadyStrainer's bowl, swirl to rinse, and tip back towards the spout to drain. Larger vegetables get a traditional rinse in the Readystrainer, but I like the option of being able to collect water and swirl to clean. It uses less water and allows materials like leaves to float away from the fruit. This method also works wonders with berries!

Once all the veggies have been rinsed using the ReadyStrainer, it is time to prep and assemble the ingredients. I peel and dice two cucumbers, cut 2 cups of fresh garden cherry tomatoes in half, and mince 2 tablespoons of garden basil leaves.

All the vegetables and herbs get put in a bowl and mixed with a splash of vinegar. We've tried several different types and styles of vinegar and all have worked well. However, my personal favorite is golden balsamic vinegar. It adds a nice flavor without being overpowering.

To top off the caprese salad, I cube mozzarella cheese into bite size pieces and fold in to the vegetables. I add this ingredient last because some types of mozzarella cheese can be soft and prone to falling apart if mixed too much.

This salad is very customizable. Try adding different vegetables or dress the salad with different vinegars to change things up. We hope you enjoy finding the version your family likes best!