Dress up the traditional Italian caprese salad recipe with fresh, peppery arugula and creamy avocado for more great flavors and textures.
We all know avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable, right? And we’ve come to realize avocados make salsas infinitely better by adding a touch of creaminess for the dipping. But crunchy? Avocados are wha, wha, what? Crunchy?
Okay, maybe avos themselves don’t possess that potato chip crunch, unless of course it’s deep fried and made into a taco. Now that’s got some munch.
Caprese salads on the other hand are smooth. They’re the cool kids in school. Creamy mozzarella slices paired with the freshest of juicy tomatoes.
So when another smooth operator like the avocado slides on in, it’s time for a little texture. Welcome to class Mr. spicy arugula.
Avocados are full of magnesium and potassium, they’re the nutrients that help reduce blood pressure. Tomatoes are filled with lycopene and help thwart colon cancer. Arugula and basil are antioxidants and helps with anti-aging and carry anti-cancer properties. And mozzarella…protein, calcium and just plain good.
It’s just a big dose of health in a bowl.
Today I’ll finally be planting my garden tomatoes. A variety of varietals. Super sweet 100s are a must, Early Girls will be taking root because of our short growing season and a few heirlooms will definitely be thrown in. My basil is going in and I bought a special gardening vessel for my lettuces including that spiced up arugula.
If only I could grow avocados in Utah, I’d be completely caprese-salad-self-sustainable. But since I can’t and my produce is far from its garden ETA…I’ll happily eat my crunch of store-bought caprese salad ingredients.
How to Pit an Avocado
Avocados are the pits. However combat uniforms are not required to remove said pit.
To remove the pit out of the avocado, cut it in half and with one firm chop of a large, sharp knife, embedding the knife into the pit until it sticks. Wiggle the knife back and forth and twist the pit out of the avocado half while holding the half in your hand. Twist and pull the sides apart. Cut the avocado into slices. Take a large spoon and scoop the avocado slices away from the skin and layer on top of the vegetables.
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Avocado Caprese Salad
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 2-3 campari or cocktail style tomatoes , sliced
- ½ avocado , pitted and sliced
- 3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil , (I prefer the fruitiest, lightest flavored)
- 1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- generous pinch of sugar or dollop of honey
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Assemble the arugula, tomato, avocado slices and mozzarella in a serving bowl. Top with torn or slivered basil leaves. Whisk the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar, sugar or honey and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and pour over the salad. Toss to coat and serve.
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