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June 26, 2011

Our Favorite Summer Meal


 If I could eat Caprese Salad every day, I would. And in the summers, the hubby and I aren't far off. We fix it a lot. I make it a less conventional (read: less fancy) way, so it's really quick and easy to put together. Instead of cutting large slices and stacking, I chop the tomato and fresh mozarella into cubes and toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. It's just as tasty, but much easier to prepare and eat. Here's what you'll need:

Caprese Salad
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, roughly chopped
  • 1 tomato (we prefer an heirloom variety), roughly chopped
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Coarse salt, to taste (I use kosher or sea salt)
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. This will make enough to feed 3-4 people. It's best eaten within an hour or two of preparation, because it doesn't keep well in the fridge.


For an even bigger treat, we love to combine Caprese Salad with bison burgers. It's a real party. If you've never tried bison, you should! It tastes exactly like beef, but has way less fat and cholesterol (the ground bison we buy is 4% fat, and has less cholesterol per serving than even chicken). Bison also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, so it's pretty much the perfect meat. And did I mention it's delicious? Ray has me prepare several pounds at a time and freeze the raw patties so he can cook them throughout the week for lunch :)

In case you're interested in trying something new, I'll throw in my recipe for Bison Burgers too :) And I realize some of you might not have ground bison available in your area (understandable), so I wanna let you know this recipe is equally tasty made with beef.

Also, I recently tried a new trick that has made our burger experience 10x more delicious. I've been mixing the meat in my food processor instead of by hand, and it makes them so much more juicy!

Bison Burgers (makes about 7)
  • 1.5 lb ground bison
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced (I prefer sweet onions like Vidalia when I can find them)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
Note: I experiment from time to time, so if you prefer sweet over savory burgers, try adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of mustard powder to the mixture. 

If mixing by hand, simply combine all ingredients in a large bowl and squish together. If using a food processor, throw the garlic and onion in first to mince, and then add remaining ingredients. Pulse until thoroughly mixed and meat slightly resembles a paste.

Form into 6-7 patties and using your thumb, press a small well into the center of each patty - this prevents your burger from puffing up in the center and helps it cook more evenly. Also, you should never mash down on the burgers with your spatula while cooking, because this squeezes out all the juices and makes them dry. Cooking time varies based on how well done you like your burgers, but we cook ours for 4 minutes on each side and they end up a perfect medium well.


Happy eating :)

4 comments:

  1. have you ever made a balsamic reduction? all you do is simmer a bottle of balsamic in a small pan on medium-low until it's thick and syrupy. it takes about an hour. it is SO GOOD drizzled over caprese.

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  2. Are those Mickey Mouse salt and pepper shakers? I am definitely trying the caprese salad since I have lots of fresh basil I can snip from my garden. Now just have to get some balsamic vinegar-Yummy,yummy! Thank you.

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  3. ME TOO!!!! I just ADORE any shape or form of Caprese!!! YUM!!!!

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  4. Sounds good! Thanks for sharing. :)

    God bless and keep you,
    Sonia

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