Friday, September 4, 2009


After being subjected to dozens of "Summer on a plate!" posts on tastespotting, I sort of cringe whenever I see a blog with a post about insalata caprese. I mean, it's just 3 things slopped together On A Plate®, it's not that big of a deal.


But then I remember that there was a time in my life, not too long ago (okay, it was like 10 years ago) that I not only didn't know this combination existed, but I actually almost REFUSED TO TRY IT because I was stupid and kept telling myself I don't like tomatoes. Look, tomato haters- I'm not going to argue with you. I went my whole life picking tomatoes off of stuff, saying things like, "I only like tomatoes IN stuff, I don't like PLAIN tomatoes." INSANITY, Y'ALL.


But, I remember the moment the clouds parted and angels started trumpeting and all that crap like it was yesterday- I was 16 years old and working as a cafeteria lady at a summer camp. It was the last week of the summer's camp sessions and the kitchen staff decided to cook a big fancy dinner for all the counselors after all the kids left. We spent like 2 days prepping, coring little button mushrooms for stuffed appetizers, and SLICING ALL THESE GODDAMN TOMATOES. We must have made what seemed like 20 huge trays of perfectly sliced, neatly laid out insalata caprese, and despite all my protesting, "No, I don't like tomatoes. No thanks. No, thank you- I don't like tomatoes." I was eventually goaded into popping a bite into my mouth. WHAT?! SERIOUSLY? THIS IS WHAT I THOUGHT I DIDN'T LIKE? It was a seriously mindblowing moment. (Hey auto spellchecker- stfu, "mindblowing" is TOO a word, because I say it like every 30 seconds.)


Anyway. I'm not going to pretend like I'm a huge ass tomato connoisseur or whatever, because I am still pretty picky when it comes to eating them. For instance, I don't care much for cherry tomatoes- I don't know, they're just too... wet. Haha! And, I always seed my tomatoes, something about the seeds really grosses me out. That's probably my only beef with heirlooms, the seeds are scattered in all these tiny little pockets so you can't seed them. Once, I was watching Iron Chef, and some douchebag served "tomato caviar" as part of the dish, and it was seriously a tiny bowl of tomato seeds. I almost vomited, seriously. WTF?! And trying to make it all fancy and shit by calling it 'caviar' is just ridiculous. It wasn't even the kind of weird nitroglycerin balled up shit in gelee like some people make on there, it was just fucking tomato seeds. SORRY, SORRY- I will stop ranting about Iron Chef now. GOD, I miss having the food network.

Where was I?

Uh, anyway. Tomatoes are delicious. This is my favorite thing to do with perfectly ripe, garden fresh tomatoes. Using out of season, crappy store bought tomatoes is a travesty for this, I only eat it a few times a year and I always wait for people to start unloading their good tomatoes on me.

If you've been living under a rock or if you can't figure out what's going on in the pictures, allow me to provide you a recipe- a 3 ingredient recipe that takes like 10 seconds to complete.

FRESH MOZZARELLA. (The kind that comes packed in water.)

Slice tomatoes. Stack good shit on top of them. EAT. OMG, It's like, SUMMER ON A PLATE.

Some people like a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil, personally I stick with a small pinch of sea salt & call it good. I could just gorge myself on this. The only thing keeping me from grabbing the other huge ball of mozzarella out of the fridge and wolfing down another plate of this is feeling guilty about not saving any for my husband. That, and eating 8 full ounces of cheese for lunch probably isn't very good for you.

Okay dudes, get to it.


Blue Is Bleu said...

My husband's one of those tomato haters insisting he only likes them in things... then I forced him to eat this a couple yrs ago and he's been hooked ever since.

Lindsay said...

Haha you would be awesome to have over for dinner conversation. Just saying. :)

Kate said...

omg i COMPLETELY understand except i was a tomato hater until around my 20s when i had a salad made of this and thought i loved the cheese - WRONGO i really am just a huge fan of the basil and TOMATO!!

that said, the tomato must be tasty and red - not weird pink and gross like out of season trucked in tomatoes in grocery stores. those ARE gross.

also - i had this today on a sandwich with hummus. AMAZING.

-KY said...

Another great addition is a drizzle of balsamic that's been reduced with sugar...

Michael said...

I preferred the original Iron Chef to the Americanized version but you would have been like 10. The ingredients were more challenging. Like star fish testicles.

On a side note. You have the look of a woman who would be standing over her guests, smacking a rolling pin in the palm of her hand saying "you like your food, don't ya". :)

tj said...

...First of all, mozzarella packed in water? Seriously? I need to get out more.

...And secondly, you kill me...but in a good way... ;o)

...This looks like candy to me - Yummo!

...Blessin's... :o)

Lisa-Marie said...

If you put it on a thin slice(like half a cm) of French baguette, and put a wee bit of balsamic and pepper on it, and jam it under the grill for a few seconds, It becomes quite tasty autumn food too (It's autumn in Scotland, summer finished a week ago, and we are having torrential rain just now).

Kristin said...


but i have to admit, the correct pronunciation of of 'caprese' bugs me because it looks like it should sound like 'caprice' when it's 'ca-pray-say'. it only sounds right if i do it in my Mario (of Nintendo) accent.

Il Duche said...

Food of love. Food of hot damn love.

I've been hoarding a beautiful tomato I picked from my garden yesterday and have found myself ALONE - no husband, no kid running around - today.

Guess what I'm heading into the kitchen to make? And the salt? delcious sea salt that retains a certain crunch with the soft, glistening tomatoes? Heaven on a freaking plate.

Amber said...

i hate tomatoes on sandwiches. they always make them too drippy. no one seems to understand this!

Lynn Richards said...

Found your blog through Artsymama.....YUM. Your pictures are gorgeous and it makes me want to eat whatever is on the blog. Bummer that I don't have fresh home grown tomatoes....farmer's market, maybe?

Eliana said...

My only problem with making this salad is that I "munch" on the cheese while I'm assembling and then always end up with more tomato. Ooops!

Birdie said...

Tee-hee, I love this post.

j.cro said...

When I was little I wouldn't eat tomatoes b/c I didn't think they were done on the inside. It's a texture issue and I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from. However, living in NJ the majority of my life and it being (IMHO) the tomato capital of the planet, around the age of 12 or 13 I started to appreciate these red globes of goodness. Now I can't get enough of them and the more simply prepared the better. Sliced with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper? DIVINE!!!

Jon said...

you should try tomato provencal.
one of my favorite recipes for tomatoes

Wendy said...

Heh, my 10 year old loves to suck all the seeds out of tomato wedges. Or should I have not told you that?

Bekah said...


made me laugh. =)

doulamom said...

I'm with ya!

"Cherry tomatoes, the veg (fruit whatever...) that comes in your mouth!" Eww.

doulamom said...

I'm with ya!

"Cherry tomatoes, the veg (fruit whatever...) that comes in your mouth!" Eww.