Because you guys, I am in need of some serious color in my life these days. I will not go into all the white details because I don’t even want to think about it, but it’s been snowing and snowing and I am SO over it. I need color, sunshine and warmth please!
My cousin Abby headed to Costa Rica on Saturday, and I gotta to say, I wish I had been on that flight with her. I have never wanted to be in a warm and sunny and tropical place more than I do now. Like the craving is BAD.
So bad that I just spent the last ten…eeerrr, fifteen minutes, looking at all the places around the world that are located on or near the equator. I’ve decided that when I get old and burn myself out of working non-stop, I am going to move to Brazil and find a tiny little house on the beach and eat all the Brazilian food (bring on the mangos, pineapple, passionfruit, cilantro, black beans and coffee please!) and chocolate.
Ahh, alright, fine that will probably never happen, because I am really not the most adventurous person in the world, but you know, I can dream.
PS. I honestly just spent fifteen minutes looking at the map of the world on google and was so into it. I feel like I have not looked at a map since I was in middle school. I forgot how interesting and like, “whoa” it can be. So many places I want to see and visit and experience… guess I better become a little more adventurous like my mom and brothers, huh?
Anyway, this salad is kind of the right spot in my world of muddy white snow. It’s funny, my eats are VERY spring like, even early summerish, but my actually life is still completely winter. I am bundled with double sweatshirts, and find myself standing by the stove any chance I can get.
Good news is that my grocery store seems to know it’s spring. That’s means heirloom tomatoes, asparagus and all the avocados! YESSS.
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of caprese anything. I mean, who could not love fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella? It’s a combo I will never, ever tire of. I took the classic caprese salad and kind of elevated it with the addition of grilled asparagus and toasty homemade bread crumbs. Simple additions, but they just bring on a fun little twist and make the salad a little heartier too!
Oh and duh, I of course added avocado as well. Like I said yesterday, I am obsessed.
I feel like this salad is perfect for so many things. You can quickly throw it together for lunch, serve it at your next dinner party or serve it up this Sunday for Mother’s Day. I always think of caprese recipes around Mother’s Day since my mom is a huge fan…mozzarella and basil are her faves.
Yes, I do learn from the best.
And speaking of cheese?!?! You guys, have you had buffalo mozzarella yet? Oh my gosh, it’s the BEST. I mean, it’s still mozzarella but with like a creamy inside and a bit of a tang. I cannot get enough…and between all the buffalo mozzarella and burrata I am eating these days I may just go broke. Oooooopppppps.
But I mean, it’s worth it cause cheese is the best.
All that said, you can obviously use regular mozzarella for this too, but try to find some good stuff since it really matters in a caprese salad! And then that’s kind of it. Pretty simple, but super pretty and so flipping good.
Whether you make this for guests, your mom or yourself, everyone will be very happy!
Panzanella Style Caprese Asparagus Salad.
Yields: SERVES 4
- 1 smallish loaf of ciabatta bread, roughly torn into pieces
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 1-2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cups heirloom or regular cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 ripe, but firm avocados, sliced
- 1 bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella, regular mozzarella or burrata, torn
- handful of microgreens + mint
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the bread cubes to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt + pepper and toss well to coat, making sure all the bread has been coated in olive oil and seasoned.
Bake for 10 minutes, toss and bake another 5-10 minutes or until the bread is golden and crisp.
Heat an outdoor grill, skillet or grill pan to medium high heat. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer the asparagus to the grill pan and grill until charred, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the grill and season lightly with salt and pepper or to taste.
In a large bowl or on a platter, arrange the the tomatoes, avocados, olives and asparagus. Season the tomatoes lightly with salt and pepper. Top with basil. Scatter the mozzarella and toasty bread over top. Finish with a sprinkle of microgreens. Serve with the Vinaigrette (see below).
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust as needed.
And if nothing else, this Panzanella Style Caprese Asparagus Salad will surely brighten up your Monday!
Original article and pictures take http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/panzanella-style-caprese-asparagus-salad/ site