Caprese Ciabatta

You may be familiar with Caprese salad – a classic Italian salad of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella (I said this before – when I say mozzarella, I mean real fresh mozzarella, not the white piece of plastic you find next to the cheddar in the grocery store – it may be sold as boccocini or buffalo mozzarella in the deli aisle) with basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is basically that salad, stuffed into a ciabatta. Enjoy!

photoNo, seriously, here’s the recipe, for 2 people:

  • 1 ciabatta bread – make deep cuts every 1/4 inch or so, but don’t cut all the way through
  • 1 ripe tomato, in slices
  • 1 ball (can’t think of a better word) of mozzarella, in slices
  • fresh basil
  • 2 table spoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Add either a slices of tomato or a slice of mozzarella with a leaf of basil into each of the cuts of the bread. Drip balsamic over top, wrap in tin foil and grill for 10 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.

This could be served as an appetizer or a side – it was a late dinner for us after lots of snacking all day (did I mention hanging out at pools and on boats?), so this was a full meal for us. Enjoy!

 

Slowcooker Tomato Parmesan Soup

I’m not gonna complain about the weather, first of all because it doesn’t help (my mood or otherwise), second, lots of rain means lots of lush vegetation, and third, I have to remember I chose to move here. Do I sometimes wish I had met a guy from Hawaii instead of Vancouver? Sure! Do I hate it? Heck no. Vancouver is beautiful and awesome, and sometimes a stroll in the rain with coffee in hand (reusable mug, if you wonder) is very lovely. Anyway, because of the consistent cold and wet weather, all I want to eat is soup and I am running out of recipes so I created this one after getting the idea of a slowcooker soup on Pinterest. Here it is:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (500g) organic tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 stalks of organic celery, leaves and all
  • 1 cup (250g) freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) cream
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil or parsley (from my window garden)
  • 2 cups (1 l) vegetable broth (for recipe, click here)
neil conway / Food Photos / CC BY

Directions:

Snick the tops of the tomatoes, plunge them into water briefly. Peel and dice. Heat butter or oil, sauté onions until soft. Add tomato puree. Wash and chop celery.

Combine onions mix, tomatoes, celery and broth in slowcooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3. Yes, you can do this in a pot too if you don’t have a slowcooker, simmer for about 1h on low heat. Turn off, blend until smooth. Add cream, parmesan and herbs. Do not boil soup again as dairy can separate. Alternatively, try plain Greek yogurt. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

What’s your favorite soup?