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Sweet and Juicy Caprese Salad

In late fall – in Colorado – nuts right?  Chris has just put our garden to sleep for the winter, and these were some of the last gems to come into the kitchen.  I made this platter at the end of September and wanted to get it posted before the snow falls.  Otherwise, it would have been next August. I suppose I could have done a ‘Dreaming of Caprese Salad” in February – but that would have been cruel.

Caprese Salad 2014

Caprese Salad 2014

My friends and family know we grow heirloom tomatoes and other plants.  I love everything about an heirloom seed.  The history, the genetics, the purity of the fruit or vegetable.  The tomato front and center is a Cherokee Purple…it has a sweet and smooth flavor, the multicolored ones are German Johnson and Mr. Stripey….Thomas Jefferson’s favorite tomatoes.  There’s just something totally cool about growing the same seed as Thomas Jefferson.  Anyways, I digress.  I get lost in admiring the tomato.  Who can blame me?

An important tip – never refrigerate a tomato.  It ruins it.  Not only will it be robbed of it’s flavor, it was also turn grainy.  Yuck and a huge waste of such beautiful thing.  Also, don’t wash it until you’re ready to eat it.  Pull it from the plant, let it sit on your kitchen counter and keep you company for a few days.  It will be a bit dusty but that’s OK.  When you’re ready to eat it, rinse and enjoy.

With caprese salad, simply slice fresh mozzarella & fresh basil then layer these in with sliced tomato.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and a high quality balsamic glaze or vinaigrette.  Let it sit to allow the flavors to marry, then serve with a chunk of french bread to sop up the juices, and a lovely glass of wine.  The perfect dinner in my opinion..even in October…in Colorado.  Still crazy.

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