Goldy’s Caprese Salad from Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook by Diane Mott Davidson
Today we’re sharing a delicious and fresh recipe for Caprese Salad from Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook by Diane Mott Davidson, on sale September 22nd! In Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook, the beloved New York Times bestselling culinary mystery writer delivers a cookbook packed with more than 160 mouthwatering recipes and charming anecdotes about her writing and cooking life. Part memoir, part writing manual, part cookbook, Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook combines the author’s gift for storytelling with her skills in the kitchen. She introduces the recipes with stories about how she came to create them, anecdotes from her experiences as a writer and home cook, and includes her joy at receiving a fan letter from the legendary French Chef herself, Julia Child.
Goldy’s Caprese Salad is perfect for celebrating the end of summer. Fresh tomatoes and basil perfectly balance creamy mozzarella and we can’t wait to try this one! Pre-order a copy of Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook from your favorite retailer.
Goldy’s Caprese Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings
This recipe is living proof that two palates can be better than one. Once again, I developed this recipe after having something similar in a restaurant. Before tasting this particular one, I’d steered clear of caprese salads, because they usually consisted of wedges of tasteless tomato alternating with thick, chalky slices of equally tasteless mozzarella. Then a longtime friend, Carole Kornreich, and I had lunch in Denver. She ordered a dish similar to this and offered me a bite. I thought I’d gone to heaven. Ciliegine are manageable bites of mozzarella that are creamy rather than chalky. With organic tomatoes, they are luscious. My only problem was that the restaurant menu said the dressing was made with “extra-virgin olive oil.” No matter how hard I tried, I could not replicate the results at home. So Carole and I trekked back to the restaurant, where we both ordered the dish. This is when I discovered that those folks who write menus sometimes lie. Before we went inside, I insisted to Carole that the dressing on the restaurant’s caprese was not olive oil and vinegar, as the menu claimed. Carole took a couple of tiny bites, and suggested that the restaurant might be using basil oil. Right away, I suspected she was correct. After lunch, I raced home and ordered basil-infused oil from Boyajian. When it came, I whisked together the dressing and realized we were home. So I want to give full credit to my fellow foodie for figuring this out. (Carole and I went to sixth and seventh grades together back in Chevy Chase, Maryland; we were in the same Girl Scout troop. I always maintained that she was the smartest kid in the entire Montgomery County School District. And guess what? I was right. She became an M.D. I was ecstatic when we rediscovered each other in Denver.)
- 1½ pounds organic heirloom tomatoes, chopped if large, or you can use organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ pound ciliegine (cherry-size fresh mozzarella balls), drained
- 12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3 cups baby field greens (mesclun or mâche), gently rinsed and spun dry
- ¼ cup best-quality white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup best-quality basil oil (infused with basil, not with dried basil leaves in it)
In a medium glass bowl, combine the tomatoes, ciliegine, and basil. Place the dry greens in an attractive glass or crystal salad bowl. Set aside.
For the dressing:
- In a glass screw-top jar with a lid, combine the vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Screw the lid on tightly and shake to combine well. Take off the lid, pour in the basil oil, screw the lid back on tightly, and shake very well to combine.
- Place the tomato mixture on top of the greens. Shake the dressing again, and pour on ¼ to ½ cup dressing. Taste carefully. Depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes, you may need a bit more sugar. (Do not use too much dressing. Store the remainder, still in its covered jar, in the refrigerator.)
- Toss the salad and serve immediately.