Not Quite Winter Caprese Salad

Browsing thru Mario Batali's cookbook yesterday, I noticed a recipe for Winter Caprese Salad.

Since it was a miserable day in the Northeast, filled with rain, snow and sleet (and it's not even Halloween yet!), I wanted some of my summer back! (yeah, good luck with that).

I had my precious roasted plum tomatoes that were roasted in August, which are almost gone, some of my summer basil pesto (which is also almost gone), but no basil leaves left under the slush, but I did have some arugula! So, what the hell, why not call this salad "Not Quite Winter Caprese Salad".

I serve fresh mozzarella all year long. I serve it with roasted peppers and chopped olives in the winter months, and since basil is now available all year long in the supermarket, I can make pesto anytime I like.

You really don't need a recipe for this, but here is how it goes:
(serves 2 people)

~ Fresh mozzarella ball, cut in half
~ 4 halves of Precious roasted plum tomatoes (click on the link to see how to roast tomatoes)
~ a few leaves of arugula or basil
~ a handful of toasted pine nuts
~ 1 tbsp of basil pesto

This is life imitating art for is my "Not Quite Winter Caprese Salad", and the next photo is Mario's.

Batali is one of my favorite chefs and foodies because he has such passion, not only for the food and ingredients used, but also for Italy, the country & the land. His love for the people and even the pigs that the prosciutto comes from, really shows in his cooking.
I love people that are passionate about what they love! Whatever that may be!


This looks great and your picture looks even better than Mario's.
this looks great and I could eat a ton of it but thats were our paths diverge - the ONLY person who gets on my nerves more than Rachel Ray IS Mario Batali - for all kinds of reasons....
Anonymous said…
I like the substitution of arugula for basil. The peppery taste would definitely add zing to this yummy dish. Your pic is better!!!
Maria said…
Great looking salad. I love the way you plated it up! Love your photo:)
Giff said…
nice photo :) my brain is thinking it would be fun and tasty to have half roasted red pepper along with the roasted tomato.
Catherine said…
oooh, I can't wait to go home and reclaim a little summer! The salad looks great, and I agree that your photo is better than Mario's.
kat said…
Look at you go with that food styling! I'm with Giff in thinking some red pepper would be yummy in here too
Anonymous said…
Food stylist... now that's an idea for a career... you're half way there. Your photos are always excellent, design - perfection, ingredients - luscious.
Amazing what a "blog" can lead to.
with love,
Anonymous said…
Great plating! Your roasted pepper and olive version sounds fantastic too.
Patsyk said…
I like your picture better than Mario's, too! Great job!
SarahB said…
Believe it or not, I saw a crop of beautiful ripe San Marzanos in someone's back yard in Florence last week! I was SO tempted to stop the car and pick them! The salad looks great, I'm sure those tomatoes are yummy!
Maris said…
I would LOVE your basil pesto recipe!
Stacey Snacks said…
I add roasted peppers to the mutz, however, then it is no longer a Carpese Salad!! (has to have tomatoes!).

Maris: here is my basil pesto recipe:
2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1 clove garlic
a bit of kosher salt
1/4 cup of good parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in food processor for a few pulses, and then add your olive oil. About 1/3 cup, or until the consistency you like! You can add more or less of anything. I never measure and it is always great!
Freezes beautifully, and I use it on every sandwich, even tuna!
krysta said…
fancy! this looks wonderful. i can never get enough caprese salad.
rcoda said…
Looks great... and easy! I love Mario, too. His belly shows his love for Italy, as well! :^)
Peter M said…
At first I thought those were roasted peppers which are a great sub for tomatoes this time of yr. Pesto would work here too in the absence of fresh basil.
Pam said…
Looks delicious. I love roasted tomatoes. This recipe has great colors and flavors!
Move over Mario, you got some competition!! Stacey, yours looks better than the book! Seriously!
What do you think of his new show? I hear negetive things about it because all the talking they do, but I don't care, I DVR it every Sunday, I agree... He's got passion!
Anonymous said…
Mario Batali is one of my fave chefs as well. But I would say your version looks way better than the picture in the book
Veronica said…
You win the picture contest. Looks so delicious!
Alexa said…
Not quite, looks quite delicious to me! If I had this salad for a meal I would be a happy happy girl.
The Food Hunter said…
Mario is one of my favorites too. I love the winter caprese and make it often this time of year. Yours looks delicious.