Two Ways Are Better Than One

by - April 29, 2017

Here we go again! Another side dish with the same three ingredients: tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. But seriously there are so many great ways to make a caprese salad that there's no reason why I shouldn't constantly make (and write about) them!

Because I love to make use of my oven and cut down the amount of time that I'm actually standing and preparing something half of the time I decided to make my baked caprese salad in two ways: one with the cheese melted on the tomato and another with it being cooked different, like a chip. Guess which one I liked better?

Do I even need to go over the ingredients list for a caprese salad?

Baking the cheese, tomatoes and basil was a no brainer. There's a phantom food particle somewhere in my oven that makes my apt smell like it's going to burn down if I have it over 300 degrees so I have to keep mine at 275. After I marinated the tomatoes in salt, pepper and balsamic vinaigrette I topped it with some chopped basil and the cheese on top. I always make sure to top anything off with cheese because it's a great way to keep all of my ingredients together once the cheese starts to melt.

And this is it. This is the amazing side dish that you're left with once the cheese is melted to your satisfaction. How great does this look? I always top it off with pepper and serve it on my cutting board because I think it makes the colors stand out more than if it were on a black or white plate.

Now on to my favorite way to eat this. When I go carb free I tend to still want (read: NEED) something salty and crunchy but I of course stay away from the dreaded potato. Once I open up a bag of chips it is game over for me.

When I made my cheese shell tacos I noticed that if I leave the cheese in the oven for a really long time they get super crunchy so that's when I went on Pinterest to find out which cheeses would make the best chips. Mozzarella and Parmesan were the top ones that I saw so I used both just to see what it was all about.

Look at this. Tell me you don't want to devour this right now? Just writing this has me salivating! Unlike withe the baked caprese I chose to bake the mozzarella cheese solo this time and waited until it was starting to brown before topping it off with freshly grated Parmesan. This let the crisp get some great texture as well as flavor by having the Parmesan flakes melt into it.

This gets put on top of a drained tomato slice, topped off with chopped basil and a balsamic glaze and voila! You end up with the great flavor of a caprese salad with a nice crunch.

So tell me, which one of these is your favorite and what would you pair them with?

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