Caprese salad is one of my (and my family's) favorite side dishes. I'm pretty sure I could serve it every day, and no one in my house would be disappointed. But I like variety way too much to do that, so I cut it back to just 3 times a week.
But I do make it often enough to need more than one version, so here is one of my favorite variations. I love this version for lots of reasons, but mainly because it increases the nutritional value quite a bit and also because it is a great way to serve (expensive) indulgent asparagus without needing much of it. Enjoy!
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 pound fresh asparagus
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
healthy handful fresh basil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
balsamic glaze to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut asparagus into 1-1/2 inch segments. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until nicely browned.
3. While asparagus is cooking, cut tomatoes in half and toss into serving bowl. Cube mozzarella and add to bowl.
4. Brown garlic in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. (Watch carefully as it tends to burn quickly once browning has begun.) Set aside to cool.
5. Remove asparagus from oven and allow to cool slightly.
6. Tear basil into bite-size pieces and add to salad. Add cooled asparagus. Drizzle garlic-infused oil (including garlic) over top. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic glaze to serve.
Simple, delicious, and so pretty! :-)