If it’s on the menu, I’ll order it. A good Caprese Salad with some fresh-baked crusty bread can make a delicious meal.
Thanks to the folks at The Olive Leaf in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, I now have a wonderful recipe so I can make my own Caprese at home. I also can use that leftover balsamic reduction as a topping for an ice cream dessert.
In fact, shop owner Marla Kirkman says that the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Odena, Italy, is The Olive Leaf’s best seller.
Produced in oak barrels and aged up to 18 years, the balsamic is very diverse, thick and potent enough to be dripped onto a dish as a condiment and also balanced enough so it will pair well with one of the shops extra virgin olive oils as a salad dressing.
“The acidity makes it pair extremely well with our sweeter oils and with sweet foods such as fresh fruits or even ice cream,” Marla says.
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it yourself.
Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction
2 cups The Olive Leaf's Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
3 whole ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thick
Fresh basil leaves
The Olive Leaf's Frantoio Olive Oil for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
In small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool.
When ready to serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Do the same with the balsamic reduction, making designs if you want.
Store extra balsamic reduction in fridge for a later use. End with a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper.
For more information: Contact The Olive Leaf at (812) 323-3073 or visit the website at www.oliveleafbloomington.com.
Located at 879 S. College Mall Road in The Shoppes in Bloomington, Indiana, The Olive Leaf is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
The Olive Leaf also offers online ordering at www.oliveleafbloomington.com