Tag Archives: basil

Caprese Salad

I love May – October when the farmers markets are around and dread the other 6 months when there is none.  :o(  Saturday we went to the farmers market and bought this basil plant, some tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.  The hubs also got some applewood-smoked mozzarella, and can’t stop sniffing it.  ;o)  Yesterday, I made a Caprese Salad with my market finds and the kitchen smelled so good!  I learned something, though – when working with fresh mozzarella, let it sit in a strainer for a bit before adding to a recipe.  The tomato is not as bright in the salad, because there was so much white water released from the mozzarella after I tossed it in.  Oh, well.  And although a Caprese Salad is fabulous on it’s own, we went one step farther.

We made Giada De Laurentiis’ Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella.  Just one, grilled portobello cap for each of us, topped with the Caprese Salad was enough to fill our bellies at dinner last night.  So delicious!  Now I know why people grill portobellos as hamburger replacements.  We will be having this dish several more times this Summer.

 

Hamburgers and Corn, Tomato, Feta & Basil Salad for Dinner – YUMMO!

I found this recipe for Corn, Tomato, Feta & Basil Salad on Pinterest in the Spring.  I knew I’d be trying it this Summer with some fresh corn.  I was a little worried about the flavor combinations and it being a hot dish but it was delicious!  As you can see from my inferior picture, I did not use cherry tomatoes.  I had plum ones in the house so I seeded and chopped those and used basil from the hubs’ herb garden.  I highly recommend this recipe.

I served the salad with the best hamburgers I’ve ever made.  And I’ve made some pretty good hamburgers in my life.  Flavorful hamburgers will all kinds of stuff in them: Monterey Jack Turkey Burgers, Turkey Stuffing Burgers, Pacific Rim Turkey Burgers, Inside-Out Beef Bacon Cheeseburgers, hamburgers with a little ranch dressing and freshly grated pepper mixed in, etc.  The burgers I made tonight were just plain ole 80/20 ground beef, but the way I cooked them made all the difference in the world!

When I make burgers, I split 1 lb of ground beef into 4-6 burgers, depending upon how much other stuff I put in them.  Tonight, I divided the 1 lb of ground meat into 8 balls.  I have a panini press that opens up completely flat and came with both griddle and grill plates.  I opened that thing up, put on the griddle plates and heat up to sear/425 degrees.  Than I put the back, flat side of my bash ‘n chop kitchen tool on top of a ground beef ball and hit it with my meat mallet, smashing the ball into a cardboard thin patty.  I saw this technique used on a show last night.  A gentleman was touring the US, visiting the best burger joints.  One of the places flattened their burgers like this and served 2 on a bun with 1 slice of cheese in-between.  Then they fried the burgers in a pot of grease that is over 100 years old!  I cooked mine on my dry griddle plates.  The burgers weren’t handled much because I wasn’t mixing anything into them and being so flat, they cooked in a flash.  That’s what contributed to the tastiness.  2 patties with a slice of American cheese in between them on a potato hamburger roll and we all agreed they were the best burgers we’d ever had.  I am going to make burgers like this from now on!

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