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Caprese Salad with Basil Pesto

Caprese Salad traditionally made of tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil and olive oil. In this recipe I used basil pesto instead of basil leaves. Some times I use roasted beets, sweet peppers or eggplant instead of tomato. Pesto also can be made many different ways. Any kind of herbs(shpinach, arugula, parsley...), hard cheeses(manchego, gruyere, asiago, aged gouda...), nuts(walnuts, almonds, cashew...) and oils can be used.

1 big, fresh, ripe heirloom  tomatoes
1 ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella
1/4 cup basil pesto
salt, pepper
2 tbls grated Parmesan
2 tbls toasted pine nuts
1banch basil
1clove garlic
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grape seed oil
salt, pepper


To preserve the color of pesto I blanch the basil for just a few seconds in boiling water, fish them out and shock them in cold water, then drain and squeeze. Blanching does not compromise flavor.

1. Boil water and add basil.

2.  Help basil to sink.

3. Boil not more than 10 seconds.

4. Drain under very cold water.

5. Squeeze as much water as possible.

6. Dry with paper towel.

7. Dice it.

8. First add garlic, oil, salt and pepper to a blender or a food processor, pulse for 3 seconds.

9. Add the rest of ingredients.

10. Pulse until puree.

Store in a jar up to a week. It can be frizzed in ice cube tray.


1. Mix spinach with 1 tbls of pesto.
2. Slice the tomato and mozzarella ball crosswise 1/3 inch thick.
3. Put slices of tomato on a bed of spinach in a single layer
4. Top them with pesto (approximately 1 teaspoon on each slice) 
5. Top tomato slices with mozzarella slices
6. Add another layer of pesto.
7. Finish with grated parmesan cheese and pine nuts.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
Pesto - w/ Green Garlic?
I got some green garlic, and was thinking of making a pesto with it... is there a recipe you would suggest? Or is there something else (better than pesto) to do with green garlic?
Jun. 16th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: Pesto - w/ Green Garlic?
Yeah, I think it is good idea to use green garlic for pesto. I made pesto with chive before. Keep in mind that green garlic like chive is very strong without blanching. Blanching will help to reduce bitterness and heat and as well keep it bright green.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )