It’s Saturday and after my favorite thing in the world……almost……..buying groceries, I needed little lunch. I bought some beautiful tomatoes, even though they aren’t in season….yet! Of course if the weather doesn’t start to cooperate, we will not have tomatoes, it’s freezing!
I am un-deterred and I made myself a spring-ish salad for lunch. So simple really……I have stuffed tomatoes frequently in the summer, egg salad, tuna, salad, chicken salad…….. so why not with a salad???
I used baby spinach that I shredded and stuffed inside the tomato. At first I was thinking, just a tossed salad inside of a tomato, then Caprese crossed my mind.
Caprese salad, meaning “Salad of Capri” is a simple Italian salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and green basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. It’s made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag: red, white, and green.
I love, love, love the combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil. So, the spinach was in the tomato, and I topped it with cubes of fresh mozzarella….pretty!
For the basil, I made it into a dressing, a pesto dressing. Basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, white balsamic vinegar, and olive oil with a touch of water to make it easy to pour.
For my money, the pesto dressing made this dish. Basil is extremely aromatic, with the initial scent of pepper, anise, and mint. The taste is sweet, but savory. Perfect for Caprese Spinach Stuffed Tomato.
This salad is a great light lunch and would be a side side salad for any grilled meat……steak sounds good!
It’s so quick and easy you can make it in a flash for those unexpected guests, or if you just need a quick lunch……like I did today!
- Pesto Dressing
- ½ c. fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 2 large vine ripened tomatoes
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves, shredded
- Additional fresh basil, sliced for garnish if desired
- For pesto dressing, in a food processor combine basil, garlic, walnuts and Parmesan cheese. Cover and pulse until combined. Add vinegar, water and oil. Cover and process until thoroughly combined.
- Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice each tomato into 6 wedges, leaving the bottoms of the tomato intact. Spread open the wedges of the tomatoes slightly and evenly divide the spinach and mozzarella between the tomatoes. Drizzle each tomato with the dressing and finish with fresh cracked pepper and salt if desired.