Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Caprese Salad: Lightened and Reinvented

There's something about the simplicity of a Caprese Salad that makes it so wonderful. Unfortunately, between the mozzarella and olive oil, it is also high in fat. 

I wanted to be able to keep the spirit of this wonderful and simple salad, but without as much of the fat, so I started to break it down. By that, I don't mean individual ingredients so much as I mean what makes the salad what it is, what do I love about it. Highest on that list for me are the yin and yang of flavors and textures--the acidity of the tomato and vinegar against the smoothness of the cheese and olive oil, both harmonizing with the earthiness of the basil. 

For my version, I kept all those things, if in slightly different proportion, and accentuated them, I believe, with the fresh coolness of some cucumber. I used crumbled goat cheese instead of mozzarella. This let me get cheese in every bite but in a much lighter way. I also used a very light hand on the olive oil, just sprinkling the salad with it and the balsamic vinegar.

Quinn is not a fan of tomato, but Nancy and I both loved this salad. We both went back for thirds. It wouldn't keep well anyway, we told ourselves.And we did so guilt free because each serving of this salad is only 78 calories with 6 grams of fat and 1 of fiber!

Lightened Caprese Salad
Makes 6 servings
1/2 medium to large cucumber, thinly sliced
4 large plum tomatoes, sliced
3 ounces Chevre goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup basil leaves, cut chiffonade
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Alternate cucumber and tomato in a circular pattern on a plate. Sprinkle with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Top with basil and goat cheese.

Deal of the day: A mandolin is a wonderful tool when you have to do a lot of slicing or want to make those slices perfectly even.


DailyChef said...

Love it! It's amazing how light this salad is, but how fresh it must taste.

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

This looks and sounds like a delicious salad. I would go back for seconds, maybe thirds :)

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

Great way to lighten a classic salad. The freshness and crunch of the cucumbers would make for a nice counterpoint to the goat cheese. Very well done!

danasfoodforthought said...

When I read the title of the post, I was thinking that it was impossible to lighten caprese salad... it's all about the cheese!! But you proved me wrong, and did an awesome job... I love the substitution of crumbled goat cheese!!

Jackie at said...

Love goat cheese. Great idea and so easy to assemble :)

kanada said...

Its look very delicious dish, i really wanna to taste it ASAP.
I will try to prepare it.

ravienomnoms said...

That salad looks gorgeous! I bet it has a great crunch!

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