Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Caprese Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese & Toasted Walnuts

Written By: Chris - Aug• 12•13

I’m often inspired to prepare dishes based on something I’ve seen others make, or from something we’ve ordered out to eat.  More often it’s a dish I’ve seen prepared on television because I’m hooked on the Food Network channels.  Recently during a segment on the morning “Today Show” Giada de Laurentiis was talking about a variety of fresh tomatoes because they are in season.  She was giving simple ideas of how to use some and I’m always looking for new dishes.  She prepared this unique and simple caprese salad.  Since Bill and I both LOVE goat cheese and never get tired of caprese salads, this was a must!  I didn’t write down a recipe, rather just winged it based on what I remembered and ingredients that I had on hand!  Fresh basil is in season and the meatiness of the walnuts adds an interesting and flavorful twist!

I can’t remember exactly what she called it, but I believe she used the word “impilato”, which means “stacked” in Italian.  I like to use “vine on” tomatoes or would recommend the Big Boy variety, which are a long time garden favorite.

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Ingredients:

Two large Ripe Red Tomatoes, on the vine
4 oz. Goat Cheese
2 to 3 Tablespoons Half & Half, or heavy cream
2 Tablespoons fresh Basil, julienned
2 Tablespoons fresh Mint, julienned
1/2 to 2/3 Cup Walnuts, toasted
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste
Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

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In a small non-stick saucepan, dry toast the walnuts over medium low heat, tossing frequently until browned and toasted on all sides.  Chop herbs and slice tomatoes into four large, thick slices.

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Cream together the goat cheese and half and half until smooth.

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Start by placing a large slice of tomato on a plate.  Next spoon some of the goat cheese and continue with layers until ingredients are used up.  I placed the rounded tops upside down and along side.  Sprinkle with toasted nuts and chopped herbs.

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Drizzle with Olive Oil and season with salt & pepper.  Serve Immediately.

We enjoyed this as a side dish to dinner along side of some simple grilled chicken that has been glazed with similar flavors.

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Salt and pepper two chicken breasts.  Drizzle with a generous portion of seasoned olive oil.  If you don’t have flavored oil, you can add  seasonings and mix until well blended.

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Grill chicken over medium high heat for six to seven minutes per side or until cooked through.

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It went well with the corn bread stuffing and a glass of NUMMY Plump Jack Syrah!

Cheers!
~Chris

 

 

 

 

 

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