Chef News

Devin Walsh's Summer Caprese Salad

Walsh of Calistro Bistro gives the same advice he's received: Keep it simple.   Caprese salad is one of the simplest salads you could ever hope to make. And yet the combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil is more delicious than many more complicated concoctions. This salad will work perfectly for a picnic, as it does not involve any greens that will wilt. You can dress the salad, pack it and forget about it until you're hungry.

Summer Caprese Salad with Herb Pesto Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 servings

For the salad:
Fresh mozzarella 1 lb
Arizona grown vine-ripened tomatoes 4 (large)
Baby arugula 1/4 cup

1. Dice tomatoes into 1 inch by 1 inch pieces.
2. Dice fresh mozzarella into 1 inch by 1 inch pieces.
3. Tomato and Mozzarella is the classic caprese....feel free to add your own ingredients at this time...1 inch diced cucumbers, 1 inch diced avocado, sliced fresh fennel, ripe (slightly soft) mango, etc.
4. Season your diced ingredients in a mixing bowl with salt and white pepper.
5. Add your herb pesto vinaigrette and gently mix to incorporate the dressing throughout.
6. Place in a serving bowl with a serving spoon.
7. Garnish with baby arugula.

Get the ingredients for the perfect pesto vinaigrette after the jump.

For the dressing:
Pine nuts (toasted) 4 cups
Fresh basil 6 cups
Fresh cilantro 4 cups
Extra virgin olive oil 4 cups
Kosher salt 4 teaspoons
White pepper (fresh ground) 1 teaspoon
Fresh lemon juice (to taste)

1. Toast the pine nuts until lightly golden and aromatic.
2. Let the pine nuts cool.
3. Add all of the ingredients except the oil to a food processor.
4. Begin to puree and drizzle in the oil slowly. Keep adding the oil until
your desired consistency is achieved.
5. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice until you reach your
desired level of acidity (about 4 tablespoons).

You can store this dressing for several weeks refrigerated.

If you missed any of Chef Chat with Walsh, go back to part one or two now.

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