Caprese Power Salad
When spring begins to come here in California one of my favorite things to do is to find all the craziest looking heirloom tomatoes that I can. I only discovered these gems a few years ago when we moved out west, unfortunately for the Midwest, these delicious fruit are just not the same out there. This week, I saw the first batch of heirlooms available in our local grocery store and I didn’t even think about how I would use them, I had to have a full bag! I wanted to do some research to understand what qualifies the tomato as an heirloom and here’s what I’ve found out.
Heirloom tomatoes is a term intended to refer to a tomato variety that is open pollinated (non-hybrid). It’s called Heirloom because the breed has been passed down through a family for generations for it’s unique characteristics. However, now that these tomatoes are so popular, the definition has been expanded to include varietals that are a mix of two different heirlooms as well. I’ve planted our own in the garden this year called the rainbow heirloom. We planted just this morning, I’ll keep you updated on how it grows!
At first, I decided to use these yummy tomatoes for a fresh Caprese salad to bring to some friends for a casual bbq. I decided to go completely traditional and let the ingredients shine – just cubed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and lots of freshly harvested basil, tossed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper. What I didn’t expect was that we would have some leftovers, so this afternoon I was able to turn this traditional caprese style salad into a Caprese Power Salad for lunch and it was truly delicious!
What makes a salad a Power salad? I see this description on recipes all the time now and it seems to refer to salads that include high protein, lots of greens like Kale and some extra legume or other interesting ingredients. Given that inspiration, I created this little salad and I have to admit, I’m hooked on it! It combines all my favorite flavors and also packs a ton of nutrition. I hope you’ll try this or your own version of Powering up your salad bowls. It’s a lot of fun!
- 3 large Heirloom tomatoes
- 6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1″ cubes
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup spinach, chopped
- 1 avocado, halved and sliced
- 3 fresh eggs
- 1 cup red lentils
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Bring 3 cups water to boil, add pinch of salt and lentils. Cook for 10 minutes then remove and rinse with cold water.
- At the same time, add 3 eggs to another pot filled with water enough to cover the eggs, bring to boil and cook 10 minutes, then remove immediately and immerse in an ice bath until ready to slice.
- While the eggs and lentils are cooking, combine all vegetables in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl or jar, mix all dressing ingredients and shake well to combine.
- Toss dressing with the salad.
- Layer the salad as follows to serve – 1/2 cup of lentils, dressed salad, hard boiled egg slices, mozzarella and avocado to top.
The Moxy Mamma