Chopped Caprese Salad
From Cook”s Country
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
To transform a classic Italian appetizer into a hearty tossed salad, we add chopped romaine to the traditional tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Chopped globe tomatoes turned the salad watery, but halved grape tomatoes provide a pop of color and sweet, year-round tomato flavor. To further guard against watery salad, we toss the tomatoes with salt ahead of time to season them and draw out excess liquid. A potent oil infused with garlic, basil, and shallot seasons the cheese, and the same oil is later added to red wine vinegar to make the salad dressing.
Serves 4 to 6
You can use cherry tomatoes in place of the grape tomatoes.
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 romaine hearts (12 ounces), quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1. Combine mozzarella, oil, shallot, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in bowl. Coarsely chop half of basil leaves and add to mozzarella mixture; set aside while preparing tomatoes. Combine tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in separate bowl; transfer to colander set in sink; and let drain for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Tomatoes can be prepared up to 1 hour in advance.)
2. Tear remaining basil leaves into ½-inch pieces. Gently toss tomatoes, romaine, olives, vinegar, mozzarella mixture, and basil together in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
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