Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best. Juicy ripe peaches are stacked on slices fresh mozzarella, with a sprinkling of hand-picked strawberries from a local farm and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Between wedding planning, working full-time, and side projects at home, Bry and I found ourselves constantly busy and with little time for just the two of us. While we have been overwhelmed with the love and support of our family and friends and are excited about our non-work projects, we knew we needed time to just be. No plan. Just us. And it was perfect. While everyone else in New England was heading for the beach on 4th of July weekend, Bry and I hoped in our car and headed up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. First stop: hiking to Arethusa Falls. But, taking a note from Robert Frost, rather than taking the traditional, crowded path to the falls, we headed on the more challenging cliffs trail, which was essentially empty save one or two occasional hikers.
After tiring out our legs we headed back in the car and continued on the highway with no goal destination in mind. In fact we couldn’t even get cell service to check Google Maps (yes, we are embarrassingly a product of our time and don’t keep an actual map in our car). Along the way we noticed a row of cars parked alongside the road, so we decided we had to pull over and see what was happening. Turns out it was a family-run strawberry farm. Immediately ideas of strawberry pies, smoothies, and pancakes came rushing to my mind and I knew we had to pick some. If you haven’t tasted a warm, freshly-picked strawberry you are seriously missing out! These babies were much smaller than what you find in the grocery store but 2x as flavorful – I kept telling Bry I felt like they had been injected with strawberry juice concentrate they were so tart and juicy! In fact they were so flavorful I couldn’t bring myself to cover them up in pastry or even put them in our oatmeal. Instead, we enjoyed them on their own, save for a few that I used to give a pop of summer flavor to this caprese salad.
Traditionally, caprese salad is made up of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and olive oil. Clearly this peach caprese salad is not traditional, but I kept the most important part: good quality fresh mozzarella. The peaches easily substitute in for the tomatoes and you could add a drizzle of olive oil if you would like, but I felt the creaminess of the cheese as well as the punch of flavor from the balsamic were satisfying enough without the oil. If you’re a traditionalist go ahead and add the fresh basil. I left it out for two reasons: 1. fresh basil and my stomach do not get along 2. because I can’t eat much fresh basil it always goes to waste whenever I buy it. So instead, I added a small sprinkle of dried basil for taste, but again the decision is up to you J While the strawberries may not seem important, they added such a great vibrancy to the dish that I highly recommend including them. Our strawberries were tiny so chopping them up made the most sense, but if you have larger berries go ahead and try slicing them thin and stacking them between the peaches and the mozzarella.
So here’s a toast to being spontaneous!
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Wow love this sweet take on caprese salad! looks and sounds so yummy!
Thanks Sarah! It’s so wonderfully sweet yet salty – definitely give it a try!