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.